Etixx – Quick-Step leads team standings in Dunkerque
The queen-stage took the riders to Cassel, over a tough circuit which sparked a selection in the peloton.
One attacking group after another. Basically, this was the scenario of the penultimate day in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, as many riders tried to foil the plans of the favourites. Among them was also Etixx – Quick-Step's Stijn Vandenbergh – winner of a Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage earlier this year – who booked a place in a four-man group which managed to stay at the front for more than 20 kilometers before being reeled in on the last of the nine laps the riders had in line for the fourth stage (Andruicq – Cassel, 178.2 kilometers) of the French race.
Not long after, on the final two climbs of the day, a plethora of attacks came, first from Androni-Sidermec's Marco Frapporti and Mirko Selvaggi (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and then from Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Xandro Meurisse (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), who caught and distanced the two. In the end, Meurisse was the one who got the victory, while Coquard finished runner-up, ahead of Frapporti, and kept the leader's jersey with a 24-second cushion.
It was a good day also for Etixx – Quick-Step, who climbed to the top of the teams classification thanks to the solid placings of Yves Lampaert, Niki Terpstra and Vandenbergh. Together with the other riders of the team, they will try to defend this position on Sunday, while also helping Maximiliano Richeze in the bunch sprint which is expected to conclude this year's edition.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele