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Welcome to our live coverage of the Five Days, oops, Four Days of Dunkirk!
Hello and welcome to the Four Days of Dunkirk. Today's first stage takes us 180 km from Dunkirk to Orchies.
We have a solo escape today. Stefano Borche of De Rosa Ceramica got away at about km 80 and has now built up a lead of 7.20!
The race got started at 12:45. Julien El Fares of Cofidis was the first to try to get away, but he was caught. As were all other attempts until Borche.
The field has crossed the finish line for the first time, and the gap has dropped one more minute.
20 km to go and the gap is only 40 seconds.
As you may know, we have a new live reporting system, and it is presenting a challenge to those of us who are not computer people..... so don't wonder at whatever you see here!
The escape is over and the peloton is together.
We're having a bit of a problem getting info from the race here....
Katusha is in charge of things right now, trying to set it up for Pozzato and Galimzyanov.
Peloton still all together.
FDJ has now moved up to share the leadwork with Katusha.
No surprise, the group is still all together as it charges along....
Now Cofidis has taken over at the head of things.
Oops and now we have lost our only source of information!
That is the second win this season for the young German. He earlier won the third stage of the Tour de Langkawi.
And Kittel was second in Rund um Köln just last week.
Galimzyanov was second, with Giacomo Nizzolo of Leopard Trek third.
Casper and Hutarovich round out the top five.
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano
2 Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek
4 Jimmy Casper (Fra) Saur - Sojasun
5 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ
That's it! Thanks for joining us for a rather awkward effort today. We'll be back again tomorrow, hopefully a bit more co-ordinated.