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Démare sees De Panne lead as temporary

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Arnaud Demare (FDJ - Big Mat) on the podium

Arnaud Demare (FDJ - Big Mat) on the podium (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Arnaud Demare (FDJ - Big Mat) wins Vattenfalls

Arnaud Demare (FDJ - Big Mat) wins Vattenfalls (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After taking a narrow second place on the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne, Frenchman Arnaud Démare rode himself into the race lead on stage 2 after Peter Sagan (Cannondale) lost contact in the finale.

Although the FDJ rider was pleased to don the white leader's jersey, he remains doubtful he can hold onto it through to the finish in tomorrow's final stage.

"Time trialing is not my specialty," Démare said to Het Nieuwsblad. "If I finish in the top 50 tomorrow, it will be good."

"The race lead is so difficult to defend. I would rather try to get the morning stage win."

The former U23 world champion has been racking up promising results in Belgium: in 2012, a fourth place in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne preceded a win in Le Samyn, which he then followed with a stage win and ninth overall in De Panne.

A 12th place in this year's Gent-Wevelgem combined with his results in De Panne will put Démare, who was fourth in the U23 Paris-Roubaix in 2011 and second as a junior in 2009, among the dark horse candidates for this year's Hell of the North.