Hagenes wins stage 5 of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque
Per Strand Hagenes (Jumbo-Visma) outsprinted Romain Grégoire (Groupama - FDJ) to win stage 5 of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque in Cassel. Gregoire takes over the leader's jersey on the Queen Stage, with a 13-second lead on Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-QuickStep). Alexis Rénard (Cofidis) crossed the line five seconds back for third place.
"We had a plan before the race. In the final, I could follow attacks and mark the moves. If I had legs, I marked the move and I think Gregoire went as hard as possible to get as much time as possible on GC, and then for me, it was just for me to sit and wait," said Hagenes.
Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ) launched early on the final climb of Mont Cassel, going at 400 meters to go with only Hagenes able to cover his attack. 19-year-old Hagenes, the youngest rider of the peloton, jumped from the Frenchman's wheel in the final meters to take the win.
"In the finale, it was the stage win or the pink leader’s jersey. I had to make a choice. I saw Per Strand Hagens on my wheel, I didn’t think, I went all in all the way to the finish. I knew that my race was not over, I stay very focused on tomorrow," said Grégoire.
Earlier in the day, a breakaway of seven riders formed in the opening kilometres of the 188km stage from Roubaix to Cassel. The move included Nicolas Debeaumarché (St. Michel-Auvic-Auber93), Niklas Larsen (Uno- X), Kevin Kuhn, (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), Alex Colman (Flanders-Baloise), and Kenny Molly and Norman Vahtra of Van Rysel-Roubaix Lille Métropole.
Working together, the group managed to get over five minutes on the peloton led by Asgreen and his Soudal-QuickStep teammates.
All break riders were reeled back in at the start of the sixth and final time around the finishing circuit. Valentin Retailleau (AG2R Citroën) and Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) made a late race attack, only to be caught in the final three kilometres.
Looking for the stage win, TotalEnergies and AG2R Citroën upped the pace at the front, until Grégoire made his move on the 1.5 km climb with an average gradient of 4.4%.
Asgreen crossed the finish line in 11th place, 14 seconds behind the winner.
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