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Former French champion takes third consecutive win on stage 3 of the Tour du Poitou Charentes to increase his lead ahead of the all-decisive time trial this evening

Photo: ASO/P.Perreve










29.08.2013 @ 13:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nacer Bouhanni ( is unbeatable in the bunch kicks that have so far characterized the Tour du Poitou Charentes. This morning he beat Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) and Davide Appollonio (Ag2r) in the sprint that ended stage 3 and so increased his overall lead ahead of the all-decisive time trial this evening.


No one is above Nacer Bouhanni in the Tour du Poitou Charentes. The Frenchman had been totally dominant in the two first stages of the race and this morning he underlined his status as the fastest sprinter in the peloton by making it three in a row in stage 3.


In complete contrast to yesterday's very aggressive stage, today's race was a very calm affair. Flavien Dassonville (BigMat) who recently won the French U23 championships, was the lone escapee for most of the day and Bouhanni's FDJ team always had everything under control.


As expected, it all came down to a bunch sprint and Bouhanni proved that he is also the fastest when all of his rivals have fresh legs. IAM had taken control during the final kilometres but when the peloton passed the flamme rouge, the blue FDJ train kicked into action. Dominique Rollin took a huge turn on the front and left it to Mickael Delage to do the final lead-out which allowed Bouhanni to beat Matteo Pelucchi and Davide Appollonio in the sprint.


With the win, Bouhanni extended his overall lead and he is now 20 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne). It will, however, be a very difficult task to defend the jersey in the evening 22,8km time trial which is set to decide the overall classification ahead of tomorrow's final flat stage. Defending champion Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Timofey Kritskiy (Katusha), Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Gustav Erik Larsson (IAM) and Yoann Paillot (La Pomme) are all just38 seconds down on Bouhanni on GC  and have all set their sights on a win in today's race against the clock.


A calm start

The 109,4km morning stage was almost completely flat and most rider seemed intent on saving as much energy as possible for the evening time trial. Hence, there was no reaction when Dassonville launched an immediate attack and the young Frenchman was allowed to build up a gap that almost reached 4 minutes


FDJ gradually started to up the pace, momentarily assisted by Wallonie and Roubaix. When the advantages had come down to 2.50, they decided that it was too early to reel in the escapee and so they allowed the gap to grow to 4.00.


More teams start to chase

With 55km to go, the chase kicked off in earnest and FDJ got assistance from Movistar (working for Enrique Sanz and Francisco Ventoso) and Vini Fantini (working for Francesco Chicchi). Those 3 teams combined forces and with 19km to go, the gap was down to just 1 minute.


Dassonville did his best but against the mighty peloton, he never had a chance. With 13km to go, the escape was over for the young Frenchman and all was set for a big bunch sprint.


Eloy Teruel (Movistar) and Arthur Vichot (FDJ) both took some huge turns on the front inside the final 5km but when the finish line approached, IAM took control in an attempt to set up Pelucchi. Eveything looked bright for the Swiss team until they passed the flamme rouge. At that point, FDJ proved that they not only have a superior sprinter, they also have a fabulous lead-out train which delivered Bouhanni perfectly to his third stage win in a row.



1. Nacer Bouhanni 2.33.41

2. Matteo Pelucchi

3. Davide Appollonio

4. Kevin Reza

5. Daniel Hoelgaard

6. Florian Senechal

7. Omar Bertazzo

8. Maxime Vantomme

9. Enrique Sanz

10. Armindo Fonseca


General classification:

1. Nacer Bouhanni

2. Armindo Fonseca +0.20

3. Maxime Vantomme +0.22


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