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4J de Dunkerque

Only good memories for Dimitri Claeys

Two weeks after the impressive collective performance in Paris-Roubaix, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux returns to its back garden in the north of France for the 66th edition of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque (2.Pro, 3-8/5), from Tuesday to Saturday.

The World Team will line up with former winner Dimitri Claeys. In 2018, the Belgian rider laid the foundation of his final victory in the stage towards Cassel, which is again the queen stage in this year’s edition.

This fifth stage will start from the mythical velodrome in Roubaix and covers the Mont Cassel sixteen times, or eight times each side. In the five other stages the wind is the main danger for the battle in the general classification as they are mainly flat.

In addition to his overall victory and second place in the stage towards Cassel in 2018, Dimitri Claeys finished eighth in the latest edition in 2019. The Belgian rider returns to competition after a long training period and will be accompanied among others by his compatriot Baptiste Planckaert (12th in 2019) who will participate for the eighth time.

Lead out Boy van Poppel accompanies sprinter Gerben Thijssen, who will make his debut in the race just like Sven Erik Bystrøm, neopro Hugo Page and cyclocross specialist Corné van Kessel. These seven riders will be directed by Hilaire Van der Schueren and Pieter Vanspeybrouck.

« I remember my final victory in 2018 very well, it was the first time that I celebrated a success with my family as a young father. My pink jersey was then added to the collection of my parents. It is always nice to return to a race in which you did well in the past, but this year it will be even more special because it will feel like my start of the season. I had physical problems in the beginning of March and with the team we chose to take enough time to recover and to build. Often, the Four Days of Dunkirk serve as a start of the second part of the season for the classics riders. The participants don't always know their level after a short rest period, which adds extra suspense. Each year, the GC battle is a fight for seconds and even though the finish in Cassel is crucial, you have to race attentively every day. The gaps in the sprint finishes or bonus seconds can be decisive. »


General Classification


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