Brochard Wins Etoile des Besseges; Kirsipuu Takes Final Stage
Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r-Prevoyance) has won the fifth and final stage of the Etoile des Besseges. The Estonian sprinter beat Saulius Ruskis (Oktos-Saint Quentin) and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) to take the 148-km ride from Gagnieres to Besseges in 3:12:27. Stage 4 winner Laurent Brochard (Ag2r-Prevoyance) finished in the bunch to claim the overall victory.
Early in the stage, 13 men escaped. The Ag2r-Prevoyance-led peloton kept the fugitives on a short leash, and La Francaise des Jeux.com scooped up the remnants of the break with 12 km left. The bunch stayed together until the sprint, which Kirsipuu won.
Brochard won the Etoile des Besseges by 0:08 over Sylvain Calzati (Oktos-Saint Quentin) and by 0:10 over Juseba Zubeldia (Euskaltel). The former world champion will go into the Mediterranean Tour, which begins on February 11, as one of the favorites. Will he win that race? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!