By VeloNews Interactive
Estonia’s Jaan Kirsipuu of the AG2R team won a sprint finish that saw 12 riders fall to take the fourth of seven stages of the Four Days of Dunkirk cycling race in Saint-Vanant, France on Friday. Sprint specialists Jo Planckaert and Jeroen Blijlevens fell in the mass tumble in which US Postal’s Stephen Barthe broke his wrist and Irishman Ciaran Power suffered a concussion.
In the first stage of the race, fellow Postal rider Dylan Casey crashed into a TV soundman, and broke his pelvis and collarbone. Casey’s agent has said the rider may file suit against the TV station the soundman works for.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Kirsipuu, winner of the first two stages, posted a time of 4:55:14 in the 206.4km run between Fontaine-au-Pire and Saint Vanant to come in ahead of Italy’s Daniele Galli of Alexia and third-placed Dutchman Jans Koerts of Mercury-Viatel.
France’s Jacky Durand and Belgium’s Nico Eckout made a break from the peleton after just 7km and were leading by 11:35 after 65km. But the two were caught 10km from the line and a sprint finish was launched from a full 500m.
Saturday’s fifth stage is a 170.5km run from Outreau to Boulogne-sur-Mer. With the mountains at Boulogne, it is the race’s toughest stage, and the one that should reveal the eventual winner.
Copyright AFP 2001
FOUR DAYS OF DUNKIRK, France, May 8-11
Stage 4 — Fontaine-au-Pire to Saint Vanant
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), 206.4km in 4:55:14; 2. Daniele Galli (I); 3. Jans Koerts (Nl); 4. Luciano Pagliarini (Bra); 5. Olivier (F); 6. Endrio Leoni (I); 7. Marco Zanotti (I); 8. Christophe Capelle (F); 9. Eddy Lembo (F); 10. Zoran Klemencic (Slo).
1. Kirsipuu, 752.40km in 17:38:17; 2. Baden Cooke (Aus), Mercury-Viatel, at :23; 3. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Credit Agricole, at :24; 4. Christophe Capelle (F) at :25; 5. Laurent Jalabert (F), at :29; 6. Didier Rous (F), at :30; 7. Bert Hiemstra (Nl); 8. Christophe Moreau (F); 9. Nicolas Jalabert (F); 10. David Millar (GB), all same time.