Criterium International – Nacer Bouhanni wins stage 1


Victorious on the first stage of Paris-Nice a few weeks ago, Nacer Bouhanni repeated that feat at the Critérium International, capturing victory on the morning stage around the city of Porto Vecchio.

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Criterium International – Nacer Bouhanni wins stage 1


Photo: ©A.S.O. / P. Perreve

The sprinter appears to have recovered from the knee injury he suffered, beating Nathan Haas and Marko Kump to the line in a bunch sprint. Bouhanni claims the overall leader’s Yellow Jersey.

The sun was shining and the wind strongly blowing on the Island of Corsica and the city of Porto Vecchio for the early start of stage 1 of the 83rd edition of the Critérium International. 113 riders took off at 9:31 on the 89kms course around Porto Vecchio. As soon as the first kilometre, four men managed to pull away from the pack: Gougeard (ALM), Venturini (COF), Vaubourzeix (LPM) and Vimpère (BIG). This 100% French escapee group enjoyed a maximum 2’ lead at km 25 before seeing the pack led by teams and Trek move closer.

At the summit of the only hill of the day, the Côte de Conca (km 46.5), where Vimpère collected the most climber’s points ahead of Gougeard and Vaubourzeix, the peloton was only 35” adrift. The front men were eventually caught at km 48. Team AG2R-La Mondiale then took command of the race and the peloton broke up into two groups with a bunch of 50 riders including the likes of Andy Schleck (TFR) and Janez Brajkovic (AST) dropped behind.

Thankfully, the pack bunched up together again with 20 kilometres to go. The only intermediate sprint of the day (km 73.5) was then claimed by Brandle (IAM) ahead of Jungels (TFR) and Rossetto (BIG).

With 15kms to go, Vanotti (AST) gave it a go on his own. The Italian enjoyed a slim 10” lead with 10kms to go. He was eventually caught, two kilometres from the finish. Time had then come for a bunched sprint.

Well helped out by his team mates, Nacer Bouhanni flew to victory, comfortably beating Nathan Haas (GRS) and Marko Kump (TCS) to the line. The Frenchman therefore captures the overall leader’s Yellow Jersey before the afternoon’s individual time-trial. Bouhanni also leads the points and best young rider’s standings while Vimpère is the best climber so far.

1 BOUHANNI Nacer 02:07:01
2 HAAS Nathan Garmin Sharp
3 KUMP Marko Tinkoff-Saxo
4 HUREL Tony Team Europcar
5 SIMON Julien Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
6 BRANDLE Matthias IAM Cycling
7 GIRAUD Benjamin Team La Pomme Marseille
8 FONSECA Armindo Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement
9 ALAFACI Eugenio Trek Factory Racing
10 BERARD Julien AG2R La Mondiale

23 ROWSELL Erick Team NetApp – Endura
46 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing
52 DUMOULIN Tom Team Giant-Shimano
83 BRAJKOVIč Janez Astana Pro Team
88 SCHLECK Andy Trek Factory Racing


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