Five riders initially dominated the 169-kilometer first stage of Four Days at Dunkirk, but in the last 30 kilometers Damien Gaudin (Europcar) opted to leave the group and start a wild solo ride towards goal while the speed in the field was dictated by Francaise de Jeux.
But 15 kilometers later, the field was divided into several groups in constant pursuit of each other, and soon the Europcar rider was picked up by the first pursuit group of seven riders, but three riders jumped off the field and up to the front group on the last big climb before the finish.
The breakouts reached just before the goal, and here John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) was the fastest in the group, and he now leads the race overall.
The race gave come back to Team Saxo Bank’s Nick Nuyens, who after a long break due to a hip fracture today returned to the field:
“Of course, after two months of break, I am still a little rusty and the race here is not the easiest on the calendar. In training up to the race I have been better and better running, but the hard accelerations you only get in the races and they hurt today. to the rest of the season, where I hope for a Tour ticket. But first and foremost it’s about getting back in the field, ”
Nick told Nuyens after today’s stage.
Sports Director Tristan Hoffman was very pleased with Nuyens’ efforts:
“Unfortunately, we did not have anyone in the outbreak that kept home, but there are several good stages suitable for outbreaks, so we will of course try again. Nick (Nuyens) did well, though he is tired after a hard leg, and he still suffers from hip pain. The goal for him is to get the whole skin through the whole race, as it is important to be able to get back in shape, ”
said Team Saxo Bank sports director Tristan Hoffman.