4 Jours de Dunkerque: Arnaud Démare poised for final victory heading into day five
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

4 Jours de Dunkerque: Arnaud Démare poised for final victory heading into day five

by Ben Atkins at 9:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Four Days of Dunkirk
Michel Kreder takes breakaway sprint on day four but French triple stage winner holds lead

michel krederArnaud Démare (FDJ) headed into the fifth and final day of the confusingly titled Quatre Jours de Dunkerque despite despite missing out on a fourth straight stage victory on day four. The 181.6km stage, between Lens and Parc ‘Olhain was won by Michel Kreder (Garmin-Sharp) after Démare himself had chased down a late attack from Florian Vachon (Bretagne-Séché) on the final uphill kilometre. Kreder powered past in the final metres, passing Vachon who held on to take second place, with Julien El Fares (Sojasun) sprinting into third.

Démare himself finished fifth in the eight-man group that was all that was left of the peloton as they arrived at the finish and, despite Kreder and Vachon moving up onto the overall race podium, the FDJ rider held onto the maillot rose as he headed into the final day.

The stage, which was made up of a short 25.3 opening loop, followed by seven hilly laps of a 21.6km circuit, was characterised by a breakaway from 19 riders which was three minutes clear of the peloton in the mid part of the stage. This was whittled down to 11 riders by the tough finishing circuit, and then again until just Vincent Jérôme (Europcar), Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale), Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ) Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), Tom Van Asbroek (Topsport Vlaanderen-Wanty), Arnaud Labbe (Cofidis) and Cyrille Patoux (La Pomme Marseille).

Mondory and Soupe were the last to be captured with 26km to go, only for El Fares, Florian Guillou (Bretagne-Séché) and Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) to escape. El Fares and Kadri held out until just over five kilometres to go and, as the remains of the splintered peloton hit the final climb Vachon attacked.

One by one the riders of FDJ and Garmin-Sharp pulled back the Bretagne-Séché rider until only Démare remained. Gradually Vachon was pulled back, with Kreder overtaking him with just 30 metres to go to take the stage.

Result stage 4
1. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
2. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment
3. Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun
4. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
5. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
6. Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling
7. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
8. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environment
9. Jacobus Venter (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka @ 10s
10. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano

Standings after stage 4
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
2. Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environment
3. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp @ 20s
4. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano @ 26s
5. Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun
6. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne Séché Environment @ 30s
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling
9. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
10. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ @ 31s


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