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EUROTRASH: GIRO Rest Day #1!

The 2016 Giro d’Italia has been full on in Holland and we look at the first three days with top performances from Tom Dumoulin and Marcel Kittel. Two sprints and Marcel takes them both by more than a bike length. Race reports, quotes and video from the Giro and the 4 Days of Dunkirque. Other cycling news: Two more years for Maarten Wynants and a massage video from BMC. EuroTrash Giro cappuccino time.

TOP STORY: Marcel Kittel’s Giro
So far the Giro has come down to one very close time trial and two very dominated sprints. Friday’s 9.8 kilometer time trial had a very close result with Giant-Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin winning by 0.022 of a second over Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo). This gave the first pink jersey to a Dutchman (Tom Dumoulin) in Holland which was good for the race and the home fans. If Dumoulin had been that fraction of a second slower then Roglic would have given the Dutch LottoNl-Jumbo team the overall lead, which would have been nearly as good for everyone. A home win was the best for all concerned.

Then in stage 2 and 3 we see the strength of Marcel Kittel as he dominated both sprint finishes, winning by bike lengths in two perfect demonstrations of speed and power. The Etixx – Quick-step team at the Giro is not as strong as the Classics line-up, but with the re-found form of Marcel Kittel and the help of Fabio Sabatini, Etixx are looking good so far.

• See ALL PEZ Giro news here.

A devil of a good sprinter, Marcel Kittel:
Arnhem - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - The Devol and Marcel Kittel (Germany / Team Etixx - Quick Step) pictured during stage 3 of th 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 from Nijmegen to Arnhem in the Netherlands - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

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Giro d’Italia 2016
“Tom Dumoulin’s performance was wonderful. It was a privilege to stand on the podium of this beautiful opening stage of the Giro. We saw Apeldoorn, Gelderland and the entire country at their very best today” said King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Local hero Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) took the first Maglia Rosa of the 99th Giro d’Italia d’Italia, after clocking the 9.8km of the Stage 1 time trial in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, in 11:03 at an average speed of 53.212km/h. He won the stage by a tiny margin, edging out surprise runner up Primoz Roğlic (LottoNl-Jumbo) by one hundredth of a second. The Slovenian neophyte, a former junior world champion in ski jumping who was expected to shine in the mountains, was the revelation of the day.

The pan-flat course initially shone the spotlights on another Giant-Alpecin rider, with Tobias Ludvigsson in the hot seat for one and half hours. The lanky Swede eventually finished fourth and shared the podium with his leader Dumoulin when he received the white jersey of best young rider.

In the races inside the race, Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team was the fastest of the other favorites for overall victory, opening an advantage of 5 seconds over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 11 seconds over Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) and 21 seconds over Mikel Landa (Sky). Marcel Kittel of Etixx – Quick-Step won the battle of the sprinters for whom the Maglia Rosa is within reach thanks to the time bonuses available in the second and third flat stages in the Province of Gelderland. With a deficit of 11 seconds and a total of 13 seconds up for grabs on stage 2, the German is in a favorable situation to dethrone Dumoulin.

Full race report HERE.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I’m a very lucky man today! I realize how narrowly I’ve won by. It was a lot of suffering, especially at the end of the course. I’m actually feeling sick with a stomach bug but I’m also so so happy! I did it! The effort I made at the Tour de Romandie to prepare for this time trial has paid off. I didn’t do my best time trial today but also not my worst one. I would have liked to go a bit faster but only the result counts and winning here in the Netherlands is so special…”

2nd, Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I didn’t even dream about winning this time trial, I’ve delivered some fine time trials, but they weren’t even close to what the specialists are capable of. I was very close today, though. I don’t think that I did anything wrong, but to be honest, I haven’t been thinking about it at all. It was totally crazy around me on the course. I wasn’t even able to hear my sports director talking to me through the ear piece.”

9th, Matthais Brändle (IAM Cycling): “I came to win, but I found that was too difficult for me, I really felt very good on the bike, which is one reason I am so disappointed. Now we will do everything possible to win a stage with our sprinters or perhaps in a breakaway.”

Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data): “Today was a short and fast race, as all prologue time trials are. I was really excited to get the Giro d’Italia started. I didn’t make any big mistakes and the course wasn’t that technical. I’m not too sure yet of my time but I know I can be happy with my result as I did my best. I am happy with how the day went.”

Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling): “I just felt awful today. It’s more important, though, to make sure the legs are turning properly this weekend where we will likely have sprint finishes.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 1 Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 11:03
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:06
4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
5. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:11
6. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:12
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:13
8. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
9. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling
10. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC at 0:16.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 11:03
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:06
4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
5. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:11
6. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:12
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:13
8. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
9. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling
10. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC at 0:16.

Giro Stage 1:

Some 235,000 roadside spectators enjoyed Stage 2 in the 99th Giro d’Italia d’Italia, 35,000 of them in the start town of Arnhem, 60,000 in the finish town of Nijmegen, and 140,000 along the route. The popular success of the event added even greater value to Marcel Kittel’s stunning victory in the first mass sprint of the race, ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida). It’s the third Giro d’Italia d’Italia stage win for the powerful Etixx – Quick-Step man, who took two successes in 2014.

The long breakaway of the day was formed of Omar Fraile (Team Dimension Data), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottNl-Jumbo) who went clear at km 1. The latter was riding on home soil in the province of Gelderland. Now 38, Tjallingii was all fired up for happy end of career with retirement looming when his current six-month contract runs out in June. The trio achieved it maximum lead of ten minutes half way through the stage.

Tjallingii was rewarded with the prize for the most aggressive rider. Fraile became the first King of the Mountains of the 99th Giro d’Italia as he crossed the only categorized climb of the day, in Berg en Dal (km 155), in first position. Berlato was the last to surrender with 10km to go as the sprinters’ teams geared up for the inevitable bunch gallop in Nijmegen. Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin retained the pink jersey with an advantage of one second over Kittel, who moved up to third overall with Primoz Roğlic of Lotto Nl-Jumbo still second.

Full PEZ race report HERE.

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Stage winner and 3rd overall, Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Firstly I want to say chapeau to the people of the Netherlands for the great atmosphere on the road today. I’m super happy to win the first bunch sprint of the Giro. Yesterday, the time trial was a good sign of my form. Today my team did a very good job to bring me to the front. I had to get through a few gaps to reach the front of the group. It was a tricky finale and I’m very happy with how it went. Now I’m one second away from the pink jersey. Step by step, I’m getting there. I don’t have the strongest team to lead me out but with the confidence they have in me and their strength, my team-mates guided me through the middle of the peloton when other teams like FDJ took other options on the left side of the road and we took advantage of them. Before starting the Giro in The Netherlands, I didn’t visualize what it could be like, so it’s a surprise to have so many fans making it special to win in such a great atmosphere. It was also a nice surprise to see my girlfriend at the finish. This morning I congratulated my former team-mates [of Giant-Alpecin] for the pink jersey that could become mine tomorrow but I don’t want to think about it. I just want to focus on another bunch sprint that will be very fast as well. It’ll suit me again and my confidence is very high now.”

4th, Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It was a hectic final, but I stood my ground, I was in the right place after Twan Castelijns and Bram worked for Steven. I followed the FDJ train afterwards, ended up in Caleb Ewan’s wheel, and was able to pass some riders eventually. This fourth place gives me confidence. I started my way up today.”

Overall leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “The whole race was a party! There were crowds everywhere. I enjoyed the moment because my team helped me keep the pink jersey in a really good way. Now Marcel Kittel is close in GC but the party continues. As you can imagine, it was a very special day. I really enjoyed the crowds shouting my name. I also saw a sign asking: Tom, will you marry me? The answer is no, because it wasn’t my girlfriend carrying that sign. I wouldn’t say it’s the best day of my career or my life. I don’t like those lines. But it was really, really cool. With three guys on the road, all the bonus seconds were gone, so we had a fairly easy day [in defense of the pink jersey]. It’s all very close together now, but the chances are pretty high that I will lose the jersey tomorrow if [Marcel] Kittel sprints again like that. Top 3 is enough for him to take the overall lead. He just has to be in the right place at the right time, and if he is, he’s normally in the top 3, so it sounds easy for him. We don’t have it really in our own hands tomorrow. If somebody else has to take it to Italy, please let it be Marcel. In our team, we always liked Marcel as a person and as a captain. Now he’s in another team but he’s still everyone’s friend.”

KOM, Omar Fraile (Dimension Data): “It was an objective of the team to get the jersey today. With it being the first day it was possible to be on the podium by going for the jersey and because it is our first Giro, the first time for an African Team here, we really wanted to be on the podium. For me it was a good opportunity to be in the break and in the mountain I was able to do a good sprint to get the jersey. I am really happy to have this jersey now after a really nice day. I really enjoyed the stage, the crowds were great.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 2 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:38:31
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
7. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
10. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 4:49:34
2. Primož Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:01
4. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:06
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
6. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:12
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:13
8. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:14
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC at 0:16
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling.

Giro Stage 2:

Marcel Kittel of Etixx – Quick-Step made it two in a row by winning Stage 3 from Nijmegen to Arnhem, preceding the Italians Elia Viviani of Team Sky and Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek – Segafredo in the bunch gallop. The German sprinter also took the first Maglia Rosa of his career.

The Dutch authorities and local organizing committee counted over half a million roadside spectators in the three days that the Giro d’Italia spent in the province of Gelderland. 30,000 attended today’s start in Nijmegen, 60,000 attended the stage finish in Arnhem and 165,000 crowded the race route.

The long breakaway of the day was formed of Julen Amezqueta (Willier Triestina-Southeast), Johann van Zyl (Team Dimension Data), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNl-Jumbo). Berlato and Tjallingii were both in yesterday’s long breakaway from Arnhem to Nijmegen. The quartet achieved its maximum lead of 8:10 at km 68.

Jean-Christophe Péraud of AG2R-La Mondiale crashed on a roundabout leaving the village of Borculo (km 86). The runner-up in the 2014 Tour de France became the first rider to abandon the 99th Giro d’Italia. Tjallingii took the lead in the King of the Mountains competition by cresting the only categorized climb of Stage 3 at Posbank (km 134) in first position.

Van Zyl forged on with 11km to go. He built a lead over the chasing peloton of almost one minute but he was brought back with 1.7km to go as the sprinters teams closed in on the stage finish.

Stage report HERE:

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Stage winner and overall leader, Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Maybe today’s stage looked easy on the roadbook, but it wasn’t. There were small roads and crosswinds, so the peloton was very nervous. Everyone tried to stay in the best position and it was a real fight out there. Many teams were reluctant to help us, so we had to push hard in order to reel in the break, and this only shows how super strong we are. The team was unbelievable, went full gas at the end to close the gap on the last rider in the breakaway, and I must thank them. I am very happy for the way things worked out today. I started here with a focus on doing a good time trial and the result I got on Saturday gave me even more confidence for what was to follow. I won both road stages, but I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates, who were fantastic in these past days; there really isn’t more that I could have asked them. It’s a real honor to wear the maglia rosa for the first time in my career, it’s a special feeling and I will enjoy every moment of having it.”

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “The fight to be on Kittel’s wheel was very intense and, in addition, the frenzy in the peloton was high because of the wind. As usual, Ferrari was great as pilot-fish for me, he succeeded in reaching the stream of Kittel, however when we were approaching the last kilometer we lost the position because of the fight for the placement. We recovered our place but, when I tried to start my sprint at 300 meters to the finish line, I was boxed-in and I realized that my sprint was over.”

KOM, Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I gave it all to win that sprint, the crowd encouraged me. The people were screaming so loud that I didn’t feel my legs anymore. I wanted this so badly. I was focussed on this jersey. After the top of the Posbank, I exploded. I was barely able to keep on pedaling.”

Break rider, Johann van Zyl (Dimension Data): “It was a long day. For the first half of the race it was more or less a headwind so we had to time our effort smartly. After the feedzone we started riding harder and harder. With a tailwind and 6-minute lead we knew we could get quite far if we rode smart but the guys were saving energy for the mountain sprint so they weren’t really committing. Once we got onto the local laps we rode as hard as we could and I attacked them with about 12km to go. I don’t know if the guys just didn’t want to commit anymore or if they were just tired but I knew I had to go now. I went as hard as I could and I ended up being 1 or 2 kilometers short, next time.”

Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling): “Everything is in place for us to succeed. We really worked ideally together, as imagined before the stage began in the pre-stage briefing. But these two initial sprint stages for the Giro have been odd. They go in every direction, left, right, and then left again. In the last kilometer, Matteo was not in a great place and had to produce too much effort beforehand, so that he couldn’t do it again to play for the win.”

Silvan Dillier sustained a fractured finger after crashing out of the Giro d’Italia in the last 12 kilometers of Stage 3: BMC Racing Team physician, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini provided the following update on Dillier’s condition. “We took Silvan to the hospital to undergo X-Rays on his right hand and arm which is the area that he landed on during the crash. X-Rays revealed a dislocated fracture of the first phalange of his second finger,” Dr Ruffini said. “Silvan will return to Switzerland in the morning and undergo surgery to secure the fracture. At this stage we do not have a clear indication of when he will be able to resume training but he will most likely need ten or so days off. We will know more after his surgery.”

Dillier is extremely disappointed to have crashed out so early in the race. “It’s obviously really disappointing to not only miss out on the chance to get a good result at the Giro d’Italia but also because this was important preparation for the Olympic Games. I hope to be back on the bike as soon as possible and be back in good form for GP du canton d’Agovie, which is my home race and a big goal for me,” Dillier said.

Giro d’Italia Stage 3 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:23:45
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
5. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
8. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
9. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
10. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Lampre-Merida.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step in 9:13:10
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:09
3. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:15
4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Alpecin at 0:17
5. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:21
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:22
7. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 0:23
8. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling at 0:25
9. Chad Haga (USA) Giant-Alpecin
10. Georg Preidler (Aut) Giant-Alpecin at 0:26.

Stage 3:

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4 Jours de Dunkirque 2016
Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) won Stage 2 of the 4 Days of Dunkirk, 188.3 kilometers with start and finish in Aniche, and again he beat Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Coquard now has an overall lead of 10 seconds over Bouhanni.

Attempts by Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Offredo (FDJ) were pulled back in the last kilometer for Terpstra to launch the sprint for Richeze. The Argentinean jumped, but Coquard had been following him and Bouhanni was not been able to come round the Direct Energie rider before the line.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie): “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.

Lead-out man Adrien Petit (Direct Energie): “We got a little lost when the fight was hard, 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.”

2nd on the stage, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “I was too far back in the last turn before the sprint, 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.”

4 Jours de Dunkirque Stage 2 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 4:34:18
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
5. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
8. Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
9. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
10. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM.

4 Jours de Dunkirque Overall After Stage 2:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 9:02:51
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
3. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:12
4. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton at 0:14
6. Kai Reus (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
7. Felix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille at 0:15
8. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:16
9. Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Armee de Terre
10. Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton.

Stage 2:

Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) won the Stage 3 of the 4 Days of Dunkirk (2.HC, France), Bethune – Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise (169.1 km). Three out of three for him and overall leader. Cofidis had launched Bouhanni and Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) tried to surprise, but no one could out-do the display of force from Coquard. Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Keisse (Etixx – Quick-Step), Van Goethem (Roompot-Oranje Peloton), Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Guyot (Armee de Terre) made a late escape but were caught in the final kilometer.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie): “I cannot do anything else than thank my teammates. Again they totally controlled the race and I could finish it off for the third consecutive time. Last season we went through very difficult moments. It was uncertain whether the team would be able to continue but eventually all came together. Thanks for our sponsors and manager Jean-René Bernaudeau. There were no easy times when the team had to chase but Direct Energie has shown a beautiful dynamic. Tomorrow we will be attacked. For three days we have chased but it was a hard finish uphill, and I knew it suited me. It bothered me that Cofidis didn’t chase, but it also made me fun. The attitude of Cofidis motivated me, I told myself that Nacer was feeling a little less than me right now. I make it clear right now. And it was not a finish that he liked. Tomorrow it will be different. We have chased for three full days with the team. On Saturday it is the most difficult stage in the Four Days of Dunkirk. I expect much opposition from the other teams. They certainly want my pink jersey. But who knows? I’m not just giving up my leader’s position. My team has done too much work. If I lose the pink jersey, I might be able to win again on Sunday.

2nd on the stage and 6th overall, Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect): “I had a puncture at the entrance of the local circuit and Jimmy Duquennoy have me his wheel. The whole team were in front of me and I could rejoin the peloton and reposition myself at the front. But I was still far back with 600 meters to go, in the last corner, and Grégory Habeaux brought me back. Then I had the opportunity to pass everyone except Coquard who was too fast. He also won with a big margin. I am very happy with this beautiful second place that really makes me feel good because I was not very good in the first stage and unfortunately I punctured in the finale of the second stage where I found good legs. The 4 th stage on Saturday around Cassel will be the decisive stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque. With the heat and the difficulty of the course, the weaker riders will have to let go. In any case, we proved on Friday that our team, even if it is continental, can fight against the big teams and I am sure we can do great things on Mont Cassel on Saturday.”

4 Jours de Dunkirque Stage 3 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 4:10:17
2. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
3. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
4. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
7. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
8. Yannis Yssaad (Fra) Armee de Terre
9. Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
10. Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

4 Jours de Dunkirque Overall After Stage 3:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 13:12:58
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 0:20
3. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:22
4. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton at 0:24
6. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
7. Felix Pouilly (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille at 0:25
8. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille at 0:26
9. Brian Van Goethem (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
10. Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton.

Stage 3:

Xandro Meurisse (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) was the surprise winner of Stage 4 and penultimate stage of the 4 Days of Dunkirk, considered the queen stage with 178km between Audruicq and Cassel. The Belgian passed the winner of the first three days and overall leader, Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie). The attacks included dangerous names like Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx – Quick-Step), Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Laurent Pichot (FDJ), Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocatolli) and Delio Fernández (Delko-Marseille).

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Stage winner, Xandro Meurisse (Crelan-Vastgoedservice): “In the finale, I was on Niki Terpstra’s wheel.But I still felt so good, so I decided to take my chance, I joined the three leaders and keep them all behind me could in the final meters. I won the best stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk and am third in the GC. I now work towards the Tour of Belgium and hope to strike again in the Ardennes stage. The ambition is to become professional next year. Preferably with my current team but that is a concern for later. I still want to enjoy this victory.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie): “I wanted to do everything to keep my pink jersey and it worked. In the end, I just had Sylvain Chavanel of the team with me. That was logical. The rest of the boys had had a long and hard day. In the finale, there were serious attacks. When those two suddenly went, I knew I had to go. We were expecting to be attacked but the team was stronger than them. My teammates controlled it and the strongest today was surely Sylvain Chavanel and he was on my team. Honestly, I was serene when I saw the team I had around of me. At no time, despite all the attacks, I told myself that we were losing the Four Days of Dunkirk. There is one more stage, we must be careful but the worst is over. Maybe we will have a bunch sprint again tomorrow but I am not sure that I will contest it. We’ll see. We have to see how the legs will feel after these four exhausting days.”

4th on the stage and 5th overall, Pierrick Fedrigo (Fortuneo-Vital Concept): “The whole team has done a very good job. To get the win, we had to make the race hard but unfortunately it did not pay off. If I had not attacked on the last climb, I think we would have been 20 for the sprint. I’m disappointed because there was no victory but I’m happy with my feelings and to play for the win. We had a great team spirit today.”

4 Jours de Dunkirque Stage 4 Result:
1. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice in 4:40:09
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
3. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
5. Dion Smith (NZ) ONE Pro Cycling
6. Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:03
7. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
8. Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ at 0:11
9. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Stölting Service Group
10. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:16.

4 Jours de Dunkirque Overall After Stage 4:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 17:53:01
2. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:24
3. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:25
4. Dion Smith (NZ) ONE Pro Cycling at 0:36
5. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
6. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:39
7. Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ at 0:43
9. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Stölting Service Group at 0:47
10. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:52.

Stage 4:

Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) won the Final Stage 5 of the 4 Days of Dunkirk from Hondschoote to Dunkerque (160 km) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) was the final overall winner with three stage wins and two second places in five stages. The Cofidis team launched Nacer Bouhanni, but they failed again, and he finish fourth. Dehaes made the winning jump from the peloton and Coquard could not pull him back before the line. Second place made sure he would take the final overall victory.

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Stage winner, Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I’m happy with this victory. I felt good since the start of the Four Days of Dunkirk. Everything worked well today. In the last kilometer I had to do it on my own. My teammates put me in the first positions. They did an amazing job and I could directly benefit from their work.”

4 Jours de Dunkirque Stage 5 Result:
1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 3:31:08
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
3. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
6. Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
7. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
8. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

4 Jours de Dunkirque Final Overall Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 21:24:03
2. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:30
3. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:31
4. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 0:41
5. Dion Smith (NZ) ONE Pro Cycling at 0:42
6. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:45
7. Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ at 0:46
9. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Stölting Service Group at 0:53
10. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:58.

Stage 5:

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Wynants extends Team LottoNL-Jumbo contract for two years
Maarten Wynants extended his contract with Team LottoNL-Jumbo through 2018. The Belgian rider plays an important role in the spring classics and the sprint lead-out in the Dutch team.

Technical Director Nico Verhoeven is happy with the contract extension of Maarten Wynants. “Especially in the classics, Maarten Wynants is a strong helper knows the roads,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “He reached a high level in those races this year, as well. Besides that, he is important in the lead-out for Dylan Groenewegen. Maarten is physically strong. He takes the right decisions and leads the team in those situations. That’s important during our project towards 2018 in which the development of talented riders plays a major role.”

Interesting process
Wynants wants to build a group around Groenewegen and to help Team LottoNL-Jumbo win. “It didn’t take long before we had a deal,” he added. “The sprint train is a new thing for me, but it’s an interesting process. I’m able to share my experience with the team and we’re developing quite quickly. I want to keep on being a part of that train and to help this him become a success.

“The Flemish spring classics are my personal target every year and I will focus on the lead-out afterwards. I will participate in the same grand tours as Dylan in the upcoming years.”

Maarten Wynants:
Roubaix - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Maarten Wynants (Belgium / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during Paris - Roubaix 2016 World Tour Cycling race - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

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Giro d’Italia Stage 2 – On the Massage Table
Every stage of the 2016 Giro d’Italia BMC Racing Team will bring you a video from the behind the scenes at the first Grand Tour of the season. For Stage 2, we visited our Head Soigneur Gunther Landrie when he was massaging Daniel Oss to hear about the importance of a post-race massage.


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