Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) enjoyed double victories in Etoile de Besseges on Friday, taking the stage win from a bunch sprint and moving into the overall race lead over stage 1 winner Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels). Laporte's victory was a repeat of last season, where he won the second stage and also claimed the race lead, and makes up for the team's performance in the sprint on stage 1. "The team wanted to catch up because everyone had missed out on the first stage," Laporte said. We positioned ourselves earlier in the final. We had come to Bessèges to win a stage, now it's done. Last year I finished in second place in the overall ranking. We'll see day by day."ADVERTISEMENT Sunny skies and spring-like temperatures greeted riders for the second stage of Etoile de Bessèges, but the opening kilometres of the 158km stage from St Genies de Malgoires to La Calmette were anything but tranquil. With the bunch speeding along at 60kph, it was impossible for any attack to stick until finally, after 10km, Pierre-Luc Perichon (Cofidis) managed to slip away. Perichon was quickly joined by Jérôme Cousin (Direct Energie), Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence) and Emiel Vermeulen (Natura4Ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole), building up a 35-second lead before the day's first climb, the Côte de Montagnac. At the end of the first hour, the riders had completed a massive 46km and still, the breakaway extended its lead to three minutes before the sprinters' teams clamped down on the breakaway, keeping the gap stable for the next 80km.
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