BESSÈGES, France (AFP) — Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar) won Friday’s third stage of the Étoile de Bessèges and seized the overall lead from Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).
Cousin won the 152.6km leg around Bessèges from a group of 11, out-kicking FDJ teammates Anthony Roux and Arthur Vichot.
The Europcar rider now leads the race by three seconds over Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun) with Romaine Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) third at 12 seconds.
Van Staeyen slipped to ninth overall at 32 seconds.
Saturday’s fourth stage will take riders over 154km from Sabran to Pont Saint Esprit.