4 Jours de Dunkerque: Benjamin Thomas takes race lead with stage 3 time trial victory
·3 min read
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Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis) won the stage 3 time trial at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque and, with it, the overall race leader's jersey in Saint-Quentin. The Frenchman covered the 15.9km route with a winning time of 19:21 and was the only rider to crack 49km/h.
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Thomas beat runner-up Niklas Larsen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) by nine seconds, while Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-QuickStep) finished in third place at 14 seconds back.
Thomas now leads the overall classification by 14 seconds ahead of Asgreen and 20 seconds ahead of Ethan Vernon (also Soudal-QuickStep) as the race heads into stage 4 on Friday.
The third stage at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque was a 15.9km time trial at Saint-Quentin. After the first two sprint stages, overnight race leader Samuel Leroux (Van Rysel-Roubaix Lille Métropole) was the last off the starting ramp.
However, with only 11 seconds between him and the top 47 in the overall standings, it appeared that his time in the leader's jersey was going to come to an end during the time trial.
Noah Vandenbranden (Flanders-Baloise) posted the early benchmark time of 20:30 with an average speed of 46.5km/h.
However, the time was soon eclipsed by faster finishers Chad Haga ( Human Powered Health) and then Maciej Bodnar (Total Energies) with a time of 20:13 and an average speed of 47km/h.
The times only continued to quicken as Niklas Larsen (Uno-X Pro Cycling) and Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-QuickStep) pushed the average speeds toward 48km/h. None were faster than Benjamin Thomas (Cofdis), who finished with a winning time of 19:21 and an average speed of 49.3km/h.