4 Jours de Dunkerque / Grand Prix des Hauts de France
Stage 2: Compiègne - Laon
France Wednesday 17 May 2023 169.9 km
Vernon impresses in Dunkerque
Ethan Vernon showed the fantastic progress he’s made since turning pro with Soudal Quick-Step, proving there’s more to him than meets the eye on the demanding uphill finish of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque stage 2. Having won three races this year, including one at World Tour level in Romandie, Ethan produced a fantastic acceleration in the closing meters of the 1.9km climb averaging 4.1% which spiced up the finale of Wednesday’s stage to land another strong result.
It was an intense fight for victory, with the original breakaway caught just 200 meters from the line, after a fierce chase. As soon as this happened, the moves came, and Ethan Vernon was quick to react to a stinging attack of Romain Gregoire (Groupama-FDJ). The 22-year-old Brit came with huge speed from behind, but ran out of road and eventually concluded runner-up, as the Frenchman took the victory in Laon.
“I wasn’t expecting I would sprint at the end, to be honest. When we came into the last climb I was a bit out of position, which meant I had to go deep quite early. This result is promising for the next days, because I know that with a better positioning I could have won. Shape wise I’m in a better place that I thought after sickness, so I’m happy and looking forward to the coming stages”, said Ethan, who is fourth overall before the race’s individual time trial.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images