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Dunkirk - Meurisse third in final stage, Dupont brings home points jersey

Dunkirk - Meurisse third in final stage, Dupont brings home points jersey

Xandro Meurisse rode to a podium spot in the fast final stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk (2.HC, 8-13/05). The final stage to Dunkirk seemed destined for a bunch sprint, but a large leading group decided otherwise. Xandro Meurissejoined a breakaway of 11 riders, who never got more than two minutes from the peloton. However, the collaboration was optimal at the front, and Meurisse and co held off to the chasing pack.

In the final kilometer, Olivier Le Gac jumped away to the stage victory, Meurisse sprinted to third place. In the peloton, Timothy Dupont sprinted to a 3rd place, good for a 14th spot in the stage. Dupont thus wins the green points jersey in the North French stage race. In the final classification Meurisse (6th) and Dupont (8th) both finish in the top 10. Together with three podium spots and a strong collective block a nice result for the team.

Xandro Meurisse:

"Yesterday I had already discussed with my roommate Wesley Kreder that I could join a big breakaway. Together with Gougeard I was the last rider to jump to the big leading group. I collected bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints for a top 10 spot in the final GC. I wanted to drop myself down to the peloton to assist Timothy Dupont, but sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren encouraged me to stay in the front group. Gougeard kept on riding à bloc and so we stayed ahead of the peloton. Suddenly I had to aim for a stage victory. Unfortunately this flat course was not ideal for me, but I still managed to get a third place. With an average of almost 46km/h it was a very fast final stage."

"There has been a lot of change in terms of mentality in the team lately. All teammates have sacrificed themselves during this stage race. I am a member of the team for nearly two years now, and I had never seen such a collective block before. Also in the peloton, riders tell us that they are amazed at how we ride here. Everyone rides 100% for each other, which is not always easy. Thus we succeed in riding for one leader in a more efficient way. A rider doesn't have to be ashamed to drop from the peloton is he has done his work. This is also emphasized by the team management. All the hard work was rewarded with good results, we only lack a victory. It is a joy to be a member of such a motivated team. "

"It was a matter of time to get this team spirit in the team. In Circuit de la Sarthe we already performed this for Guillaume Martin, and here in Dunkirk we could repeat that for Timothy Dupont and myself. We showed us one of the strongest teams and in the sprint preparation we were not inferior to a WorldTour team like Lotto Soudal, without real specialists in our team. This is encouraging and motivating for the future. I hope we can also extend this in bigger races like Dauphiné and Tour de France. "

"Personally, I am also happy that I was able to contribute to Timothy's sprint preparation, something I wasn't able to do last year. I felt really good on the Saturday stage to Cassel. Now I rest for a few days before going to the Ardennes for a short training period. Then I build via Boucles de l'Aulne and Plumelec towards the Dauphiné, my next goal this season. "

Results Stage 6

1. Olivier Le Gac
2. Casper Pedersen
3. Xandro Meurisse
14. Timothy Dupont + 00:11
41. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck
66. Simone Antonini
69. Frederik Backaert
82. Tom Devriendt + 00:29
83. Wesley Kreder

Final GC

1. Dimitri Claeys
2. André Greipel + 00:01
3. Oscar Riesebeek + 00:02
6. Xandro Meurisse + 00:46
8. Timothy Dupont + 00:52
31. Frederik Backaert + 02:14
73. Tom Devriendt + 16:33
77. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck + 20:10
79. Simone Antonini + 20:52
83. Wesley Kreder + 22:11

Points classification

1. Timothy Dupont 61p.
2. Wouter Wippert 56p.
3. André Greipel 47p.