How to live stream Étoile de Bessèges 2021: Where to watch the first major stage race of the season

Grand Tour stars, Classics specialists and sprinters will race through the south of France - here’s where to watch

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

The racing season gets underway for some star riders at Étoile de Bessèges this week - here’s where you can watch the first major stage race of 2021. 

Étoile de Bessèges, also known as the Tour du Gard, is a five-stage 2.1-ranked men’s stage race, centred around the Gard department of the south of France and runs from Wednesday, February 3 to Sunday, February 7.  

While the race regularly attracts WorldTour teams, this year’s edition is even more significant as most early season races have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

>>> Here is the stacked Ineos Grenadiers team for Étoile de Bessèges stage race 

This season, riders like Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Vincenzo Nibali will all be starting their racing calendars in Étoile de Bessèges, making this a great event to kick off your own cycling year. 

The race will consist of three probable sprint stages from days one to three, and then stage four will be a tough Classics-style day of racing with countless uncategorised ramps. 

Finally the race will be decided on stage five, in an 11km individual time trial with a 2.5km climb to the finish. 

How to watch Étoile de Bessèges 2021 in Europe

The early-season French stage race will be shown live in both France and Belgium via two different broadcasters.  

For French cycling fans, L’Equipe TV (opens in new tab) will be taking on home broadcasting duties live from around 2.30pm Central European Standard Time each day.  

In Belgium, you will be able to watch the racing live on Sporza (opens in new tab), with coverage starting on the website and app from  around 1pm CEST and then on TV from around 2.30pm. 

Not in Belgium or France for the Étoile de Bessèges 2021? No worries – just download and install a VPN (opens in new tab) and use a French or Belgian location to watch live as if you were back home. Full instructions below. 

You may find access to your favourite home broadcaster is restricted by location. Luckily there is a way you can keep watching anyway – downloading and installing a VPN, which allows you to trick your computer into thinking it’s back at home. This allows you to find your native broadcaster coverage without having to resort to an illegal steam, as long as you stick to the terms and conditions set out by the broadcaster.

Setting up a VPN is simple – just download, install, open the app and select your location.

Try out ExpressVPN  for its speed, security and simplicity to use. We also like that it’s compatible with so many devices and streaming services (e.g. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, etc).

There are other great options out there of course, but Express VPN (opens in new tab) gives you the added benefit of a 30-day money back guarantee and three months free with a yearly plan.

How to live stream Étoile de Bessèges 2021 in the UK and the US

Unfortunately for cycling fans in the US and the UK, Étoile de Bessèges will not be broadcast on English-speaking platforms like Eurosport or FloBikes. 

But if you’re a French or Belgian cycling fan away from home in the UK or US, but you still want to watch Étoile de Bessèges, you can do so by logging into a VPN to make sure you can gain access to the racing while you’re abroad.   

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.