By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2002 AFP
Cofidis’s Janek Tombak pulled on the pink leader’s jersey at the Four Days of Dunkirk in France after winning Thursday’s second stage, 190km from Hellemmes to Steenvorde. Tombak beat Frenchman Didier Rous (Bonjour) for the stage win and took the leader’s jersey away from Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour).
The start of the race saw the ever-present Jacky Durand (La Française des Jeux) initiate an eight-man breakaway that would stay out on the road for the first 50km. That group was absorbed, but countered by Roger Hammond (Palmans-Collstrop) and Roberto Lochowski (EDS-Fakta). That duo would gain an advantage of 4:25, but that lead would quickly come down on the first of three ascents up Mont Cassel.
When the leaders were finally caught, more attacks came, but it wasn’t until the final descent of Mont Cassel that Tombak made the decisive move, followed closely by Rous. Second on Wednesday, Tombak didn’t let Thursday’s opportunity slip away, winning a long two-up sprint from Rous, with the rest of the peloton five seconds behind.
1. Janek Tombak (Est), Cofidis, 190km in 4:21:20; 2. Didier Rous (F), Bonjour, s.t.; 3. Gorik Gardeyn (B), Lotto-Adecco, at 0:05; 4. Jans Koerts (Nl), Domo-Farm Frites; 5. Ludo Dierckxsens (B), Lampre-Daikin; 6. Michel Van Haecke (B), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago; 7. Filip Meirhaghe (B), Landbouwkrediet-Conago; 8. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus), Lotto-Adecco; 9. Sebastien Hinault (F), Credit Agricole; 10. Stephane Heulot (F), Big Mat-Auber 93, all s.t.;
1. Tombak; 2. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour, at 0:08; 3. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Bonjour, at 0:17; 4. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Lampre-Daikin, at 0:21; 5. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Domo-Farm Frites, s.t.; 6. Bart Voskamp (Nl), Bankgiroloterij-Batavus, s.t.; 7. Stephane Barthe (F), Saint Quentin-Oktos, at 0:25; 8. Rous, at 0:52; 9. Gardeyn, at 0:59; 10. Laurent Brochard (F), Jean Delatour, at 1:01