Coquard wins 4 Jours de Dunkerque opener

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Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) took an easy victory in the first stage of 4 Jours de Dunkerque, out-sprinting Raymond Kreder (Roompot – Oranje Peloton) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

The 62nd edition of the 4 Days of Dunkirk kicked off with a 191.4km stage that brought the riders from Dunkirk to the nearby city of Gravelines. After a flat start, the riders tackled an early categorized climb and then returned to the coast where they climbed the small Cap Blanc Nez climb three times. From there it was a flat run along the coast to Gravelines where the riders did one lap of a flat 21.8km circuit that ended with a relatively straightforward and completely flat finale.

With the win, Coquard is the first leader of the race with a two-second advantage over Marco Frapporti (Androni) who picked up 8 bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints. He will try to make it two in a row in stage 2 which includes three early pave sectors and two climbs during the first 70km but as it ends with three laps of a mostly flat 15km circuit, it is expected to be another bunch sprint on the uphill finishing straight.

4 Jours de Dunkerque 2016 – stage 1 results (Dunkerque – Gravelines):

1 Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)

4:28:53

2 Raymond Kreder (Roompot – Oranje Peloton)

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3 Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

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4 Bert Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise)

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5 Kenny Dehaes (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

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6 Rudy Barbier (Roubaix Lille)

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7 Daniel Hoelgaard (FDJ)

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8 Benoit Jarrier (Fortuneo – Vital Concept)

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9 Yannick Martinez (Delko Marseille)

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10 Francesco Chicchi (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec)

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