The Etoile de Besseges is the first major stage race of the new UCI cycling season, and it's taken on extra significance this year amid a series of recent race cancellations as some of cycling's biggest stars cover more than 600km over the first four days of the five-stage race, before finishing with a short 10.7km time trial on Sunday. Follow our guide below as we explain how to get an Etoile de Besseges live stream and watch UCI cycling online wherever you are in the world as the race concludes this weekend.
Dates: Wednesday, February 3 to Sunday, February 7
Live stream: L'Equipe TV (opens in new tab) (France-only) | Sporza (opens in new tab)(Belgium)
Watch anywhere: try No. 1 overall VPN 100% risk-free (opens in new tab)
With the cycling calendar in disarray, the Etoile de Besseges provides a much-needed opportunity to get some competitive action into the legs. As a result, the start list is arguably the strongest it's ever been, featuring no fewer than three Tour de France winners in Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Vincenzo Nibali, which should make for an unexpectedly blockbuster affair.
And all eyes will be on Team Ineos Grenadiers' main man Egan Bernal, who has a point to prove after ending his 2020 season midway through an extremely disappointing Tour. Back issues have really hurt the Colombian, but a strong outing at the Etoile de Besseges could give him a much-needed confidence boost.
Stage one finishes with a sharp uphill final stretch, while stages two and three both look ripe for a thrilling sprint to the line. Stage four also ends on an incline, but a much gentler one than that of stage one. Read on for everything you need to know to watch an Etoile de Besseges live stream from anywhere in the world right now.
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How to watch Etoile de Besseges 2021 from outside your country
If you're desperate to watch every stage of Etoile de Besseges but you're away from home and the coverage is geo-blocked, then you could always use a VPN to access it (assuming you're not breaching any broadcaster T&Cs, of course). You may be surprised how simple it is to do.
Use a VPN to get an Etoile de Besseges live stream from anywhere
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How to watch a FREE Etoile de Besseges: live stream the first major UCI cycling race of the 2021 season
Typically, Eurosport is the place to watch cycling in most European countries - but it seems to have missed out on the Etoile de Besseges. Fortunately, anyone in France or Belgium can watch a FREE Etoile de Besseges live stream.
Etoile de Besseges 2021 TV and live stream coverage is available in a very limited selection of markets. So prepare to dust off that Lonely Planet phrase book if you want to 'voir en direct', because you can watch the race on L'Equipe TV (opens in new tab) in France, and Sporza (opens in new tab) in Belgium. Around two hours of coverage is offer each day.
We've tested both of these out and can confirm that both L'Equipe TV and Sporza's online coverage of the race is 100% free, open and accessible for anyone located in France and Belgium.
Noticeably absent is the UK where you won't be able to watch the race without a VPN (opens in new tab), while in other major cycling markets like the US, Canada and Australia it's sport-specific subscription service Flobikes (opens in new tab) with the action. Access there starts from US$12.50 a month - check in your country whether it's offering live coverage or just highlights, as this can vary by event and region.
However, any French or Belgian residents abroad right now that are worried about missing the action need only download a VPN (opens in new tab) to re-connect to their home streaming coverage.
We've tested the VPN we recommend for streaming this race and can confirm it's working and will help French and Belgian residents abroad watch L'Equipe TV and Sporza online, respectively.
Etoile de Besseges 2021: schedule and times
- Stage 1 - Wednesday, February 3, 1.10pm CET
- Stage 2 - Thursday, February 4, 12.50pm CET
- Stage 3 - Friday, February 5, 12.50pm CET
- Stage 4 - Saturday, February 6, 12.45pm CET
- Stage 5 - Sunday, February 7, 12.45pm CET