CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Bouhanni wins the expected sprint battle on the first stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe as he hold off Nizzolo, Lobato and Coquard to become the first leader of the four-day race

Photo: ©A.S.O. / P. Perreve

CIRCUIT CYCLISTE SARTHE

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

GIACOMO NIZZOLO

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

GROUPAMA-FDJ

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS

JUAN JOSE LOBATO

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

NACER BOUHANNI

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
08.04.2014 @ 18:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) continued his recent run of success when he won today's first stage of the short French stage race Circuit Cycliste Sarthe. A little more than a week after winning the first stage of the Criterium International, he held off Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), and Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) in the expected bunch sprint at the end of the flat opening stage to take both the win and the first leader's jersey.

 

Nacer Bouhanni was furious when his FDJ team decided not to include him on their Milan-Sanremo roster but he has decided to prove them wrong in the best possible way. Less than two weeks ago he won the first stage of the Criterium International and today he added another win to his palmares as he continued his love story withe the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe.

 

Last year Bouhanni already won the two first stages of the race and this year he set himself up for a repeat of that feat by again winning the opening ride. The Frenchman had the full support from his FDJ team who rode on the front of the peloton all day long to keep a three-rider break in check.

 

The race had been billed as a big battle between Bouhanni and another young French sprint star, Bryan Coquard (Europcar), and unsurprisingly their teams combined forces to make sure that it would all be decided in a sprint finish. In the end, however, Coquard was no match to Bouhanni and winner of last Friday's Route Adelie Vitre had to settle for fourth.

 

Instead, Bouhanni's closest rival was Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) who did his first sprint since coming back from a broken collarbone and the Italian did well to finish 2nd. Juan Jose Lobato continued his great start to his Movistar career by completing the podium.

 

With the win, Bouhanni is of course also the overall leader of the race as he takes a four-second lead over Nizzolo into tomorrow's two half-stages. In the morning, the riders will do another flat stage that could again suit Bouhanni while the first GC battle will take place in the afternoon when the riders contest the short 6.8km time trial in Angers.

 

One for the sprinters

The four-day Circuit Cycliste Sarthe follows its traditional format and so it kicked off with a mostly flat opening stage. The route brought the riders over 197.2km from Saint-Jean-de-Monts to Saint-Gereon and despite the presence of three smaller climbs in the second part of the course, the mostly flat roads were expected to suit the sprinters. The stage ended with 6 laps of a 5.3km finishing circuit.

 

With everybody expecting a big bunch sprint, there was no real desire to spend almost 200km in a futile breakaway and so the race was off to a very calm start. Already at the 2km mark, Marco Minnaard (Wanty), Thomas Sprengers (Topsport), and Duber Quintero (Colombia) took off and they were quickly allowed to open a gap.

 

The chase starts

After 5km of racing, they were 35 seconds ahead but as the peloton slowed down, waiting for Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) to return after a puncture, it reached 3.30 10km further up the road. The advantage stabilized for a few kilometres until it suddenly ballooned to 7.30 after 27km of racing.

 

Europcar and FDJ had the two big favourites for the stage with Bryan Coquad and Nacer Bouhanni and so they started to control the situation. They put a few riders on the front to keep the gap stable at around 7 minutes for some time.

 

Mechanical for Quintero

The peloton gradually upped the pace and had the gap down to 5.45 after 58km of racing. At this point, Quintero had a mechanical that forced him to stop and his companions decided to wait for him.

 

The small incident didn't have much of an effect on the gap which was still 5.30 by the time Quintero was back in the break. A little later, Minnaard beat Quintero and Sprengers in the first intermediate sprint while FDJ briefly stopped their chase effort, leaving the work to Europcar.

 

Sprengers scores points

The gap was now stable at around 4.45 but as FDJ went back to work, the peloton started to accelerate. As Sprengers beat Quintero and Minnaard at the top of the day's first climb, the gap had come down to 3.30 but when Europcar took a small breather in went back up to 4.40 minutes.

 

Sprengers again beat Quintero and Minnaard on the second climb as the peloton had again got back up to speed, with Giovanni Bernaudeau leading the bunch over the top for Europcar. As they reached the final climb of the day, the gap was already down to 2.15, with Sprengers again beating Quintero and Minnaard while it was now Anthony Geslin (FDJ) who was chasing in the peloton.

 

Voeckler works hard

The peloton slowed down to keep the gap stable at 2.35 for a long time while Sprengers beat Minnaard and Quintero in the second intermediate sprint. As they entered the finishing circuit, the peloton had again upped the pace and at the first passage of the line, the gap was less than a minute.

 

Thomas Voeckler did a huge work for Europcar while Minnaard beat Sprengers and Quintero in the final sprint. On the second lap, the gap was down to 20 seconds as the break split up, with one of the riders falling back to the peloton.

 

Back together

At the end of the second lap, it was all back together and Eurocpar was now in complete control. A few riders tried to attack but the green-clad riders easily shut it down.

 

Europcar got brief assistance from FDJ, Ag2r and Cofidis, with Francis Mourey (FDJ) being one of the riders to lend a hand, but it was mostly Coquard's team who kept the peloton in single file to avoid any attacks. They accomplished the first part of their mission as they ensured a sprint finish but when the fast men battled it out, it was Bouhanni who took the win.

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

Melissa SLEWE
33 years | today
Jacopo GUARNIERI
35 years | today
Marco SERPELLINI
50 years | today
Grégory BARTEAU
38 years | today
Leonardo PINIZOTTO
36 years | today

© CyclingQuotes.com