Wellens the star of Etoile de Besseges

·1-min read
Victory charge: Tim Wellens in Sunday's time trial

Belgian Tim Wellens won the Etoile de Besseges cycling race after Filippo Ganna took Sunday's closing time trial, ending a five-year French stranglehold on the event.

Wellens, who rides for the Lotto-Soudal team, topped the closing overall standings by 53 seconds from Ineos' Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski.

Time-trial world champion Ganna, also with Ineos, took the 10.7 kilometre fifth stage honours around the streets of Ales in the Gard region in a time of 15mins 0.33sec.

"I was confident before the time trial and had good feelings. But you can never be sure of anything," said 29-year-old Wellens who was fourth on the stage.

"It felt nice to start this closing time trial with a lead of more than 40 seconds. I had really good legs today, something I already noticed this morning.

"But most of all, I was really motivated to give Vic Swerts (founder and owner of Soudal) a nice gift for his 81st birthday."

Ganna, who had also won Saturday's stage on a breakaway, finished the time-trial with a 10-second advantage over Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ).

Final standings

1. Tim Wellens (BEL/Lotto-Soudal) 13hr 56:23, 2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL) at 53sec, 3. Nils Politt (GER) 59, 4. Jake Stewart (GBR) 1:02, 5. Mads Wurtz Schmidt (DEN) 1:19, 6. Michael Gogl (AUT) 1:24, 7. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) 1:25, 8. Edward Theuns (BEL) 1:36, 9. Clement Carisey (FRA) 1:41, 10. Odd Christian Eiking (NOR) 1:45

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