4 Jours de Dunkerque, Arkéa-Samsic 1st in the provisional team classification
At the end of the 3rd stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, which finished at the top of Mont Saint-Eloi… and in a sprint, Hugo Hofstetter and Clément Russo are ranked 5th and 6th. The Arkéa-Samsic team is now in 1st place in the provisional general team classification.
On the ligne
“I went up to the red light on Clément’s wheel, and compared to yesterday, I changed my strategy, and this time I was patient. I waited for someone to launch, and I smoothed out my effort a bit more so that I could launch my sprint at the changeover. But it was a bit difficult because Philippe launched, Clément followed at first, and then he was a bit slow. I tried to go around but there was no room at the beginning, and finally when it opened up in front of me, it was already a bit too late for me”.
“My first attack was to make the race harder as we had decided in the morning briefing, it went up fast, and it was when we passed that it accelerated after the line. It was a headwind, which caused a little death, and I took advantage of it to try to get out at that moment when everyone felt the need to breathe. In the 2nd part, we were trapped because Lotto and Cofidis attacked on the small road, and behind that, it was a barrier. So I went out again, and I came back quickly but not so easily. It came back afterwards, but it is good, because the legs are good, and also the morale after all that I have experienced in the last weeks, it is good to be able to take some fresh air”.
“We know that the general classification will be decided on the stage of Mont Cassel. Clément is ideally placed, but he is missing a bit on this Mont Saint Eloi stage, as you can see on the TV pictures. The smartest and strongest rider was Philippe Gilbert, a great champion. Respect to him. We, Arkéa-Samsic, are not in the match, but I didn’t come for that, my goal is to win. We will have to do a big stage in Cassel, after the guys have tried, they have tried to make things happen like Kevin, Alan. That’s good, that’s what I ask them, they do their job, and that’s a good thing”.