Elmar Reinders has had an excellent 4 Jours de Dunkerque: he was in the breakaway in three of the six stages and won the combativity award twice! “I have to try something. If not, I don’t win anyway”, he said modestly.
Stage 1: Flat opening stage. Elmar Reinders is part of the escape group and is awarded with the combativity award after the stage. He’s third in the GC thanks to a handful of bonus seconds.
Stage 2: Another sprint stage. Michael Van Staeyen achieves the best result for Roompot – Charles Cycling Team in this race: he finishes in eighth place.
Stage 3: Not one but two ROC riders are on the attack today! At first, Elmar Reinders and his fellow escapees are caught (he is perhaps too high in the GC). After him, it’s Sjoerd van Ginneken who takes off with three others. The stage is eventually decided in another bunch sprint. Van Staeyen finishes tenth. Reinders is re-elected as the most aggressive rider.
Stage 4: Bad luck today! Oscar Riesebeek is involved in a crash just 300 meters to the finish line. He sufferes several abrasions on the left side of his body, bruised ribs and a concussion.
Stage 5: Oscar had high expectations for today’s queen stage to Cassel. Last year he finished third in the same stage and went on to secure an overall podium spot too. Unfortunately he can’t start anymore because of his injuries. Jesper Asselman is our first rider at the finish line, he finished in 41st place: “It was a tough stage at a constant high pace. It was hard to try to do something because of the tempo: full gas on the climbs, full gas downhill.”
Stage 6: Early in the stage, Elmar Reinders opts for the attack once again and has an impressive final stage. He’s only caught at 2 km of the finish line, as the last rider in the breakaway. Reinders wins the rushes (intermediate sprint classification) and collects his prize on the podium. Rightly so, after the great week he’s had! Senne Leysen sprints to 16th place. Jesper Asselman finishes 27th in the GC.
“I wanted to try something again today, because I knew there would be opportunities,” Reinders reacted after the race. “But the stage was just a tiny bit too long. But I have to try something. If not, I don’t win anyway. First, we had a good breakaway group of six, but some of them weren’t allowed to ride.”
“So I attacked again and later four others joined. I still thought we’d have a chance for the stage win, but it wasn’t meant to be. I go home with a good feeling after this week. My next race is the Tour of Norway. I hope to showcase my good form there as well.”