Wed, Jun 10, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Bouhanni wins stage in Dauphine


France’s Nacer Bouhanni celebrates as he crosses the finish line at the end of the 173km second stage of the 67th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine between Le Bourget-du-Lac and Villars-les-Dombes in France on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni, riding for Cofidis, turned in an explosive burst of power as he sprinted to victory in the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Monday following a 173km ride from Le Bourget-du-Lac to Villars-les-Dombes.

British 25-year-old Peter Kennaugh, who won the opening stage, retains the leader’s jersey after finishing with the main pack. Another Frenchman, Samuel Dumoulin, was second, with Italian Sacha Modolo, a winner of two stages on the recent Giro d’Italia, claiming the final place on the podium.

“Im really happy for the Cofidis team, it was a great win and I’m very happy,” Bouhanni said.

“The conditions were ideal, I really counted on my teammates who did a great job and I’m really super happy and it’s a great relief,” he added.

“I’ve cut my season in three sections, first the Paris-Nice, then the Classics [Milan-San Remo and Ghent-Wevelgem], then the Dauphine, the French championships and Tour de France, and finally the world championships,” Bouhanni said.

“For the Tour [de France], the Dauphine is the ideal preparation. At the end of the week, I will be amongst the climbers for the mountain stages, which will get me into shape,” said the Frenchman, who is still looking for his first stage success on the Tour de France.

Kennaugh, who rides for the Sky team led by former Tour de France champion Chris Froome, maintains a two second lead in the overall standings over Modolo and Bouhanni on a day suited for a sprint finish.

Defending Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and 2013 winner Froome finished in the main bunch and are well positioned behind Kennaugh.

A three-man escape formed during the stage, with Arnaud Courteille and Perrig Quemeneur of France, as well as Daniel Teklehaimanot of Eritrea, building up a lead of seven minutes before eventually being reeled in by the peloton with 3km to race.

In a bunch sprint for the line, Bouhanni negotiated his way through the pack of riders bidding for victory and sprinted clear for a well-deserved win.

The 24-year-old Bouhanni shot to fame last year when he won three stages on the Giro d’Italia and won the points jersey.

Yesterday was to feature a team time trial over 24.5km between Roanne and Montagny, with the race set to finish on Sunday.

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