Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) continued his amazing spring season by making it two in a row with another sprint win on stage 2 of the Four Days of Dunkirk. Like yesterday, he got the perfect lead-out from Adrien Petit and even though Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was clearly the fastest and finished very strongly, the Frenchman crossed the line first to double his tally and extend his overall lead.
We have gathered a few reactions.
Bryan Coquard targets overall win in Dunkirk: This year I am stronger
"I will not say we had no ambition, but we are only at the starting point of the preparation for the Tour. It was already good to win the first stage after the break, and this second victory is a bonus. This gives positive energy. Last year, I lost the Four Days of Dunkirk in the Cassel stage this year I feel stronger,” Bryan Coquard told l’Equipe.
"We got a little lost when the fight was hard,” his lead-out man Adrien Petit told La Voix du Nord. “The option was to wait a bit and start at the last moment. I saw the opening at 800 meters to go and I could make the effort to lead Bryan Coquard out in the best conditions. It's not a frustration to be a lead-out man.”
Nacer Bouhanni: I am far from 100%
"I was too far back in the last turn before the sprint,” Bouhanni told La Voix Du Nord. “Yesterday, I lost the wheel of Geoffrey Soupe. This time, I still had three bikes lengths to make up when starting the sprint and I was overwhelmed by Bryan. It is a comeback after a long break. I am far from 100%. But the sensations are interesting. I hope to win a stage.
Roy Jans bounces back from injury with podium spot in Dunkirk
After three podiums in Qatar and Oman Roy Jans got his fourth podium of the season in the second stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk (2.HC) in Aniche on 188.3 kilometres. The sprinter was third of the bunch sprint. Kenny Dehaes took the sixth place.
"This is a good result overall. The day was very successful," sports director Jean-Marc Rossignon said.
With Lander Seynaeve, the team Wanty-Groupe Gobert had a rider in the breakaway of five. The leading group got a 5’40’’ maximum lead on the peloton. At 25 kilometres from the finish, Lander Seynaeve and Xandro Meurisse tried to keep the break alive a little longer while. With 19 kilometres to go, it was all back together.
”We were in a great situation. We didn’t have to work,” Jean-Marc Rossignon continued.
The preparation of the sprint could start. Frederik Backart took over for a while.
“I’m impressed by Frederik Backaert. He is in contention. I rely on him for the GC,” Jean-Marc Rossignon expects.
Danilo Napolitano did an amazing job as lead-out man for Kenny Dehaes and Roy Jans. Bryan Coquard and Nacer Bouhanni seemed out of reach, Roy Jans eventually took the third place of the stage.
"I'm happy with a result after my injury but I'm still disappointed. I start my sprint from far away from the finish line. A better result was possible today," Roy Jans regrets.
As in the first stage, Kenny Dehaes finished in the top ten (6th).
“Everything worked today. Kenny Dehaes showed that we can rely on him too,” Jean-Marc Rossignon concludes.
Roubaix youngster takes white jersey in Dunkirk
Félix Pouilly (Roubaix) spent the day in the break and moved into second behind Coquard in the youth classification.
"It was a long escape on my training roads. Our group of five riders was caught 24 kilometers from the finish. It may be difficult on Friday. But I'll hang on to the white jersey that I will wear. It'll be a beautiful memory. My Four Days are already successful. "
No success for ONE Pro Cycling in Dunkirk
For ONE, A crash through the feed zone caused a few issues for Joshua Hunt but he fought his way back into the peloton after some medical attention. Another crash and this time Sam Williams was caught up in the chaos delayed him slightly before he fought his way back to the bunch.
ONE Pro Cycling were attempting to set up kiwi Dion Smith for the finish, managing to get a small sprint rain before becoming finding themselves swamped on the run in to the line.
Yanto Barker was looking after Smith as they entered the final kilometre but being delayed on his run to the line it was Barker who crossed the line in 12th with Smith finishing closely behind in 15th.
Stölting look forward to queen stage in Dunkirk
Stage 2 of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque (2.HC) was an uneventful day for Team Stölting Service Group. Lasse Norman Hansen finished in 18th place.
“We didn’t have any trouble on the pavé,” commented Sports Director Jochen Hahn. “There was quite a bit of wind on the finishing circuit. Sven Reutter crashed in the final 3 km, but he’s okay. An 18th place isn’t something to jubilate about, but it isn’t bad, either. Tomorrow we’ll probably see another sprint as Coquard’s Direct Energie team is very strong – and then we’ll have to see what’s possible on the selective stage on Saturday.”
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