Gilbert takes Dunkirk lead

Philippe Gilbert wins the second stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk after a typically aggressive ride

Philippe Gilbert wins the second stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk after a typically aggressive ride

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Last month's procycling cover star Philippe Gilbert opted out of the Giro because of self-confessed fatigue, but it seems that he has got a second wind having won today's second stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk to take the race lead. Gilbert beat Ag2r's Tomas Vaitkus and Ed' System's Jan Valach in a three-man sprint after the trio had broken clear of a small group 3km from the finish. Stage one winner Thor Hushovd came in eight seconds down and lost the leader's jersey to Gilbert.

The stage featured two sections of pav from Paris-Roubaix and 19 riders got clear after the Haveluy section. They got an advantage of two minutes before Hushovd's Crdit Agricole team began to push on the front of the bunch and close down the gap.

Sensing that the bunch would be on them if he didn't react before the finish, Gilbert attacked on a number of occasions in the closing kilometres before getting clear with Valach and Vaitkus. The victory was the young Belgian's second in a few days after last Sunday's success in the Trophe des Grimpeurs.

Stage 2, Marcq en Baroeul-Lens

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Franaise des Jeux 204km in 4.33.42
2 Tomas Vaitkus (Lit) Ag2r
3 Jan Valach (Svk) Ed' System 0.03
4 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Wiesenhof 0.08
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole
6 Jaroslaw Zarebski (Pol) Intel-Action
7 Jan Svorada (Cze) Ed' System
8 Oleg Grishkine (Rus) Navigators 0.10
9 Jurgen van Loocke (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
10 Saulius Ruskys (Lit) Agritubel

Overall

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Franaise des Jeux 7.55.49
2 Hushovd 0.07
3 Valach 0.13
4 Zarebski 0.18
5 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) CSC
6 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Franaise des Jeux 0.20
7 Van Loocke 0.21
8 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Ag2r
9 Antonio Salomone (Ita) Barloworld
10 Siedler 0.22

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