Contested mainly around Mont Cassel, the fifth stage of the 4 Days of Dunkirk saw Per Strand Hagenes win ahead of Romain Grégoire, who took the opportunity to take the leader’s jersey on the eve of the conclusion of the event.
The Groupama-FDJ team definitely loves pink! While Bruno Armirail took control of the general classification of the Giro this Saturday, Romain Grégoire did the same during the fifth stage of the 4 Days of Dunkerque. The common point between the two protected by Marc Madiot is the fact that the stage victory eluded them. In effect, on the slopes of Mont Cassel, it was Per Strand Hagenes who proved to be the strongest.
After the start given from the Vélodrome André-Pétrieux in Roubaix, this fifth stage saw a breakaway form very quickly with Jelle Wallays, Kenny Molly and Nicolas Debeaumarché who took their place in this group of six riders. Led by the Soudal-Quick Step formation, the peloton was able to keep a tight rein on this breakaway which saw its lead drop to under a minute as the last 30 kilometers approached. While Jelle Wallays did not keep up the pace, it was Nicolas Debeaumarché who tried his luck alone.
Romain Grégoire takes the pink jersey the day before the arrival in Dunkirk 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ynkJWiG8Yu
— Groupama-FDJ Cycling Team (@GroupamaFDJ) May 20, 2023
Grégoire will have to defend his pink jersey
The rider from the St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93 team stood up to the peloton, unlike his former buddies who were all caught fifteen kilometers from the goal. The penultimate ascent of Mont Cassel saw the ambitious reveal themselves with Valentin Retailleau and Loïc Vliegen who came out of the peloton and quickly saw the leader of the race again, the latter not having been able to take the wheel. After seeing the Jumbo-Vismas drive for Olav Kooij, it was the AG2R-Citroëns who drove for Greg Van Avermaet at the foot of the last climb of Mont Cassel.
An effort that finally opened the door to the acceleration of Romain Grégoire, followed immediately by Per Strand Hagenes. A duo who explained themselves for the stage victory with the Norwegian who had the last word ahead of the Frenchman, who took the opportunity to take the leader’s pink jersey on the eve of the last stage of the 4 Days of Dunkirk. However, with a handful of seconds ahead of Kasper Asgreen and Olav Kooij, Romain Grégoire will have a lot to do to keep him until the end.
CYCLING – UCI PRO SERIES / 4 DAYS OF DUNKERQUE
5th stage – Roubaix-Cassel (187.7km) – Saturday May 20, 2023
1- Per Strand Hagenes (NOR/Jumbo-Visma Development) in 4h42’29”
2- Romain Grégoire (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) mt
3- Alexis Renard (FRA/Cofidis) at 5”
4- Brent Van Moer (BEL/Lotto-Dstny) at 5”
5- Greg Van Avermaet (BEL / AG2R-Citroën) at 5”
General classification after 5 stages (out of 6)
1- Romain Grégoire (FRA / Groupama-FDJ) in 17h17’30”
2- Kasper Asgreen (DAN/Soudal-Quick Step) at 13”
3- Olav Kooij (PBS/Jumbo-Visma) at 17”
4- Cees Bol (PBS/Astana Qazaqstan) at 19”
5- Brent Van Moer (BEL/Lotto-Dstny) at 20”