The first stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque was taken out by Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr). The Frenchman was clearly the fastest today as he was able to reel in Romon Sinkeldam (Giant-Shimano) and Yannick Martinez (Europcar) over the final few meters and then was still able to put 2 bike lengths into 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Gerald Ciolek would place 39th on the stage for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. The racing would be a fight from the gun as the wind would batter the riders from km zero. 3 riders would initially go clear but as the wind continued to blow, the peloton started.
Kenny Van Hummel (Androni Giocattoli) won the opening stage of the Tour d’ Azerbaidjan by beating Vitaliy Buts (Kolss) and Davide Vigano (Caja-Rural) respectively, in the sprint finish. Youcef Reguigui would be the highest placed finisher for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung on the stage by sprinting into 5th position. The day would be characterised by strong winds that blew throughout the stage. Within the first 20km’s of racing there was already 3 definitive echelons formed out on the road. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Sergio Pardilla, Linus Gerdemann and Johann van Zyl in the lead group of 40 riders with Youcef Reguigui and Jacques Janse.