Sunday 10 May 2009 at 23h31

Since the Giro d'Italia 2009 started with a wonderful team time trial won by Columbia High Road yesterday and a stage which was won in the sprint by Alessandro Petacchi ahead of Mark Cavendish (see below), one could almost forget that the 4 Jours de Dunkerque finished today as well. That's a bit strange, especially because the jersey of the leader of this race ... is just as pink as the one which is used in the Tour of Italy!

The young Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Faria da Costa of the Caisse d'Epargne team won this race in the north of France.


The 4 Jours de Dunkerque

Despite what the name seems to indicate, this race is a stage race during 6 days instead of 4, in 2009 from Tuesday 5 May till today, Sunday 10 May.
The race was created in 1955 by a group of cycling fans lead by René Quillot and organised its 55th edition this year.

The stages
> Tuesday 5 May 2009 - Dunkirk > Dunkirk
When a stage race has a stage with both its start and its finish in the same city, it's most often a time trial. In the 4 Jours de Dunkerque this is not the case: it was a regular stage in line of 186,9 kilometers.

Stéphane Poulhiès147 riders started in this stage under a threatening sky. Despite several attempts to attack we had to wait until the descent of the Mont Cassel where David Le Lay (Agritubel) decided to attack and get ahead of the peloton. Another French rider, Stéphane Poulhiès (photo, AG2R La Mondiale), and a Belgian rider, Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen), joined him a few kilometers further and their gap went up to 1 minute and 50 seconds.

At about 25 kilometers from the finish, the teams of the sprinters decided to get back to the leading group and a final attempt to attack by Tony Gallopin (Auber 93) didn't work out either. The stage finished with a massive sprint which was won by the Dutch rider Kenny van Hummel (Skil Shimano).

> Wednesday 6 May 2009 - Coudekerque-Branche > Arques
Jimmy EngoulventThis 178,9 kilometer long stage started in Coudekerque-Branche where the 4 Jours de Dunkerque never organised a stage start before.
Lloyd MondoryAfter about twenty kilometers, two French riders, Anthony Ravard (Agritubel) and Bastien Delrot (Roubaix Lille Métropole), got away from the peloton. Jimmy Engoulvent of Stéphane Heulot's team, Besson Chaussures - Sojasun, joined them a bit later. Their maximum gap was 9 minutes and 30 seconds but at about 60 kilometers from the finish the teams of the sprinters worked hard to bring it back to 1'20". At that time, the French riders Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) and Jérôme Pineau (QuickStep) escaped from the peloton to join the leading three riders and get the gap back up to 4 minutes at about 50 kilometers from the finish.
In the last climb of the day, Bastien Delrot could no longer stay up with the four other riders and at 2 kilometers from the finish this leading group was taken back by the peloton as well.
Despite this grouped peloton and despite the energy he'd given in the leading group, Jimmy Engoulvent (photo) managed to accellerate at 800 meters from the finish to win this stage in a sprint ahead of André Greipel (Columbia High Road) and Lloyd Mondory (photo, AG2R La Mondiale).

The German rider who finished second took the pink jersey.

> Thursday 7 May 2009 - Communauté d'Agglomération du Calaisis - Blériot-Plage > Béthune
Sébastien MinardThe third stage was 228,1 kilometers long and with this distance it was the longest of the 6 stages of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque.

A leading group was again formed at kilometer 20, with the French riders Clément Lhotellerie (Vacansoleil) who started the first attack, Sébastien Minard (photo, Cofidis) and Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Schuller) and the Columbian rider Marlon Perez (Caisse d'Epargne). These 4 riders worked well together and managed to create a gap which went up to 8 minutes and 50 seconds while at 60 kilometers from the finish, the Columbia High Road, Silence-Lotto and Française des Jeux teams worked hard to get back on this leading group.

At that time, Sébastien Duret took the right decision at one kilometer from the finish and placed a final accelleration which allowed him to win the stage ahead of Sébastien Minard (photo) and André Greipel. Thanks to the bonus seconds he took in the leading group, the French rider Sébastien Minard (photo) took the pink jersey.

> Friday 8 May 2009 - Communauté d'Agglomération du Douaisis: individual time trial Gayant Expo > Gayant Expo
Sébastien RosselerThis 4th stage was an individual time trial of 18,7 kilometers around Douai.

The Belgian rider Sébastien Rosseler (photo, Quick Step), second in the Eneco Tour 2008, finished this distance in 23 minutes and 21 seconds (with an average speed of 48,051 kilometers per hour). That was 18 seconds less than Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) and 25 seconds less than Damien Monier (Cofidis).

After this time trial, Sébastien Rosseler (photo) also took the pink jersey with the same 18 seconds gap on Rui Alberto Faria da Costa and 23 seconds ahead of David Le Lay.

The previous pink jersey, Sébastien Minard finished 26th at 1'06".

> Saturday 9 May 2009 - Hazebrouck > Boeschepe
This forelast stage had a total distance of 195,4 kilometers between Hazebrouck and Boeschepe. After the start from Hazebrouck and about 34 first kilometers, the stage arrived on the final circuit which was on the programme 8 times. This 18,5 kilometer circuit included some of the Monts de Flandre including the Mont des Cats, the Mont Noir and the Mont de Boeschepe.

Brice FeilluUnder a grey sky with some rain, a first leading group was created by 4 French riders: Samuel Dumoulin, Brice Feillu (photo), Guillaume Levarlet and Mickaël Larpe and a Danish rider: Lasse Bøchman of the Saxo Bank team. These five riders had a maximum gap of 3'05" when Anthony Ravard (Agritubel) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Besson Chaussures-Sojasun) decided to join them about two hours after they got away from the peloton. Another rider, André Greipel (Columbia High Road), did the same and joined them about half an hour later.

In the climb of the Mont Noir in the 6th round, the rider with the pink jersey, Sébastien Rosseler, didn't manage to follow while early in the 7th round the leading group was taken back by the peloton before Brice Feillu (photo, Agritubel) decided to attack again. Julien Fares (Cofidis), Yukiya Arashiro (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Jimmy Engoulvent (Besson Chaussures Sojasun) and Dimitri Champion (Bretagne-Schuller) joined him. In the last climb of the Mont des Cats these 5 riders were again taken back, but Julien Fares decided to try again (without success), followed by an attack by David Le Lay with Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) in his wheel and Pierrick Fédrigo following behind. The last one let the two others battle together and thus had the energy to cross the finish line just before the young Portuguese rider.

At the same time, Rui Alberto Faria da Costa took the pink jersey, but that didn't mean his final victory was sure yet because in the general ranking he was only 9 seconds ahead of David Le Lay.

> Sunday 10 May 2009 - Lesquin > Dunkerque
André GreipelThe very last stage connected Lesquin to Dunkirk in 172,3 kilometers. In these 172 kilometers there was a final circuit final which was done 10 times.

A leading group of six riders was formed by David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet - Colnago), Bart Heule, Nicolas Jalabert (Agritubel), Martin Mortensen (Vacansoleil), Jonathan Thire (Auber 93) and Sébastien Duret (Bretagne-Schuller).

Rui Alberto Faria da CostaWhen this leading group was taken back it became clear that this stage would finish in a sprint as well and the German rider André Greipel (photo, Columbia High Road) managed to win it before Jurgen Roelandts (Silence Lotto) and Sébastien Chavanel (Française des Jeux).

The Caisse d'Epargne team was right to recruit the number two of last year's Tour de l'Avenir, because the young Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Fario da Costa won this year's 4 Jours de Dunkerque. He managed to keep the 9 seconds gap on David Le Lay and finished 18 seconds ahead of number 3, Cyril Lemoine.

He finished the 980,3 kilometers of this 55th edition in 23 hours, 36 minutes and 57 seconds with an average speed of 41,507 kilometers per hour.

In 2010 the next 4 Jours de Dunkerque will take place from 4 till 9 May.

The Giro d'Italia: second stage, Jesolo > Trieste

After the first stage which was run as a team time trial won by Columbia High Road yesterday, the first stage in line took place today between Jesolo and Trieste in 159 kilometers.
The stage was fully flat until the final 11 kilometers long circuit which was done 3 times by the riders who found the climb of the Côte de Montebello in it.

After 9 kilometers, the Italian rider Leonardo Scarselli (ISD) already decided to attack. At 90 kilometers from the finish he'd created a 7 minute gap, but he was taken back in the last climb of the Côte de Montebello, where Thomas Voeckler (BBox Bouygues Telecom) and Andrey Grivko (ISD) decided to attack. They were taken back a little bit later and despite several attempts, the peloton stayed altogether ... until a fall at a few kilometers from the finish which blocked the road and thus cut the peloton in two parts. Several riders who are said to be candidates for the final win of the pink jersey were behind, including Ivan Basso (Liquigas) who finished at 13 seconds or Levi Leipheimer who had a flat tyre in the descent at 65 kilometers per hour. This frightened him a bit but he didn't get hurt and finished at 13 seconds as well.

Mark CavendishThe first part of the peloton arrived altogether at the finish and despite the fact that the sprint was perfectly prepared by the Norvegian Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Renshaw, Mark Cavendish (photo) saw the Italian rider Alessandro Petacchi of the LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini team getting over him and win the stage.

Mark Cavendish (photo) keeps the pink jersey.

The result of the stage
1/ Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) - 3:43:07 / 41,951 km/h
2/ Mark Cavendish (Columbia High Road)
3/ Ben Swift (Katusha)
4/ Allan Davis (Quick Step)
5/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream)

The general ranking
1/ Mark Cavendish (Columbia High Road) - 4:04:43
2/ Mark Renshaw (Columbia High Road) - +0:14
3/ Michael ROgers (Columbia High Road) - +0:14
4/ Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia High Road) - +0:14
5/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia High Road) - +0:14
6/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - +0:16
7/ Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) - +0:16
8/ Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Slipstream) - +0:20
9/ Bradley Wiggins (Garmin Slipstream) - +0:20
10/ Lance Armstrong - +0:27

The ranking by points
1/ Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini) - 26
2/ Mark Cavendish (Columbia High Road) - 24
3/ Tyler Farrar (Garmin Slipstream) - 18

door Thomas Vergouwen
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1 comment | 17010 views

this publication is published in: Giro d Italia | Giro d'Italia 2009 | Cycling general (except Tour de France) | 4 Jours de Dunkerque


There are 1 comments!
  1. Hou lala plus que 54 jours avant la Grande Boucle !!!Mais pour le momment c est le Giro et puis chez moi ce sera le Dauphiné Libéré . Amstrong dixième !!!!!! Alors sera t il sur la route du Tour ? A Monaco entre le grand prix et le Tour ce doit etre une vraie fourmilière !et chez Orange je pense aussi !!! a+ Thomas Christian

    | Liserois | Monday 11 May 2009 om 06h42

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