Arnaud Demaré claimed the opening stage in this year’s 4 Jours de Dunkerque (Four Days Of Dunkirk), after beating Ramon Sinkeldam and Yannick Martinez in a sprint finish in Coudekerque-Banche after 162 kilometers of racing.
Heavy winds inundated the peloton throughout today’s stage. However, nearing the end of the race, Demaré’s FDJ team took control of the splintered peloton, and delivered the 22-year old French rider to victory.
"In the end, it was quite heated, said Demaré. "I worried when I found myself in fifteenth position 500 meters from the finish line. I produced a first sprint and with the momentum, I continued my effort past the riders to take the win.
Thanking his team for their work, Demaré said:
"My team was outstanding, knowing that we could get a success. We get on well, we rode all the Classics. After Paris -Roubaix, I took nine days off the bike, I went on vacation, I cleared my head.
"Unlike last year, my goals are far away, so I’m less fit than in May 2013, but I win and so it is very encouraging. I owe it to my teammates."
Top 25 Finishers
1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr 3:49:32 2 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 3 Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar 4 Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise 5 Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp-Endura 6 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling 7 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 8 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 9 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole 10 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling 11 Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13 12 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise 13 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 14 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise 15 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling 16 Timothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole 17 Marko Kump (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo 18 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 19 Steven Tronet (Fra) BigMat – Auber 93 20 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 21 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale 22 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 23 José Goncalves (Por) Team La Pomme Marseille 13 24 Wouter Mol (Ned) Veranclassic – Doltcini 25 Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
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