Richeze sprints to 5th in Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
At the end of another day for the fast men of the peloton, the Etixx – Quick-Step riders notched a strong result, which confirmed his good form.
Stage 2 of Quatre Jours de Dunkerque contained three cobbled stretches and several climbs and saw the peloton navigate a 188-km long course, making it the longest day at this year's edition. Five riders went in the break – Gediminas Bagdonas, Xander Meurisse (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), Felix Pouilly (Roubaix Lille Metropole), Lander Seynaeve (Wayne-Groupe Gobert) and Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Roompot Oranje) – but with the stage likely to culminate in a bunch sprint, they weren't given too much space. After hitting a maximum advantage of 4:35, they saw the gap dropping fast, before eventually getting caught with 25 kilometers to go.
On an open field road section, FDJ tried to took advantage of the crosswinds and split the pack, but to no avail, an action with was then followed by the solo one of Alexis Gougeard. The AG2R rider attacked from the peloton, gaining 12 seconds, and stayed at the front for five kilometers, before being reeled in. In the final two kilometers, Dutch champion Niki Terpstra came to the front and brought Maximiliano Richeze in a good position, allowing the Argentinean to sprint to 5th and record his third top 10 finish in the space of just five days. Winner in Aniche was Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie), who kept the overall lead, 12 seconds ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
Stage 3 of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque (Bethune – Saint Pol sur Ternoise, 174 kilometers) will take place on riday and will be again one for the sprinters, despite the hillier terrain that the riders will have to overcome in the first part of the day.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele