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.
There are two climbs in today's stage, both of which came in the first 50 km. At the Mont des Cats, Anthony Colin of RLM took six points, ahead of Alexandre Geniez (Skil), and Bram Schmit VWA.
The second climb was the Mont Noir, with Sylvain Georges (AUB) taking the honours ahead of Said Haddou (EUC) and Anthony Colin. Which we think gives Colin the mountain jersey....
47km remaining from 180km
Leopard Trek, Skil-Shimano and Katusha have given chase, and the gap is now down to 3:25 at km 133.
THis race is called the Four Days of Dunkirk, but it runs for five stages and five days. This is one of those mysteries of life.
The field has crossed the finish line for the first time, and the gap has dropped one more minute.
20km remaining from 180km
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!
16km remaining from 180km
The escape is over and the peloton is together.
We're having a bit of a problem getting info from the race here....
12km remaining from 180km
Katusha is in charge of things right now, trying to set it up for Pozzato and Galimzyanov.
10km remaining from 180km
Peloton still all together.
7km remaining from 180km
FDJ has now moved up to share the leadwork with Katusha.
5km remaining from 180km
No surprise, the group is still all together as it charges along....
3km remaining from 180km
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.
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