Profiles. From the 16th to the 21st of May the 4 Jours du Dunkerque will provide for a set of explosive days in northern France, on territory that will allow the sprinters and classics riders to take on meaningful wins in one of the final opportunities before the Tour de France.
Although it is called "4 days of Dunkerque" the French race actually features six days of racing, in territory that is quite treacherous. It is a race for the sprinters, classics specialists and time-trialists to race for all the success, a rare occasion in the calendar on such a long race.
PREVIEW | 4 Jours de Dunkerque 2023
The first day of racing is simultaneously the biggest one, with over 200 kilometers in distance from the city of Dunkerque to Abbeville, with rolling terrain but one which should not stop a bunch sprint from taking place.
Stage 2 will be a day for the puncheurs, and some sprinters who have sharp climbing legs. The finale in Laon will be very explosive, featuring a 9% ramp for 600 meters just 5.5 kilometers away from the finish. The last 1.9 kilometers average 4%, making it a slight uphill finale which has the potential to be very open.
Stage 3 is the race's sole time-trial, with almost 16 kilometers in distance. It'll be a key day for the overall classification in Saint-Quentin, it isn't a pan-flat time-trial but it is one where the specialists can make a difference.
Stage 4 from Maubeuge to Achicourt will have 174 kilometers on the menu and will be a treacherous day. It features four cobbled sectors however they should be early enough in the day not to cause damage. There will be a few hilltops all throughout the day which can see attacks, but a sprint for the win is likely.
The queen stage. The French race is known for it's circuit around Mont Cassel. Stage 5 features this day which is very well suited to the classics specialists. It features seven full laps of a circuit that features a climb which is 1.9 kilometers at 5.3%, and then the cobbled ascent to Cassel which is 1.5 kilometers at 4.5%, which drag almost all the way into the finish.
The final day of racing sees the peloton return to Dunkerque. It is 188 kilometers in length, it's mostly flat and will be a final opportunity for the fast men.