Bouhanni claims first win of 2015 in Circuit Sarthe opener

Breakaway caught in final kilometer

Nacer Bouhanni finally whipped his Cofidis lead-out train into shape and claimed a long-awaited first victory of 2015 in the opening stage of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in Varades. The Frenchman denied the remaining two early breakaway riders a shot at the first leader's jersey, his train catching them in the final kilometre and delivering their star to the win.

"We didn't know if we'd be able to bridge the gap or not," the Frenchman told Cyclingnews after the race. "So we used Dominique Rollin to chase with three kilometres to go although he was scheduled for leading me out. It's a relief to finally pull up a win."

Carlos Ramirez (Colombia), Romain Lemarchand (Cult Energy) and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka) wasted no time establishing the day's breakaway as they rode away from the bunch after five kilometers of racing in the crosswinds, and although two Bretagne-Séché Evironnement riders, Armindo Fonseca and Anthony Delaplace, attempted to chase they never made the junction. The peloton made a huge gamble, giving the trio an 11 minute 30 second advantage at km 60.

Janse Van Rensburg picked up the three mountain sprints along the way, assuring himself a podium visit at the end of the stage, while Lemarchand claimed the three intermediate sprints, the last of which came on the fourth of six 7.2km finishing circuits in Varades, when the gap to the peloton was still over three minutes.

"It was very nice to ride at the front after I got sick at the Settimana Coppi & Bartali," Janse Van Rensburg explained. "I had a week off the bike. It was good for my recovery to be in the breakaway today. I'm feeling good on the bike again. I knew it would be hard to stay away, so I went for the KOM and I'm happy to get the jersey, it's good for the team. But we almost made it to the finish."

As the kilometers ticked down, more teams began to contribute to the chase, with Cofidis trying to set it up for Bouhanni, and Movistar, Roompot, Cannondale-Garmin all putting in a huge last-minute effort to shut down the trio. It nearly looked like they'd left it too late when, at 20km to go, the breakaway still had 2:35.

But with 3km to go, the three had just 25 seconds, and when Ramirez let go of the breakaway their gap quickly fell. With 2km to go it was down to just 8, and Janse Van Rensburg and Lemarchand had lost all chances as the lead-out trains bore down on them.

"It's been a hectic sprint," Europcar's up and coming fast man Thomas Boudat said. "With 600 metres to go, I was well positioned but I got caught by a wave of ten to fifteen riders and I found myself rejected in twentieth place. I became a spectator of the sprint. It's frustrating and I hope to do better tomorrow as I want to sprint against Nacer to know what I'm worth really."

"With 1km to go, I was on tenth position," Bouhanni described. "My teammate Christophe Laporte made a huge effort for me and we took the commands with Geoffrey Soupe with 600 or 700 metres to go. I launched my sprint at 200. Apparently it looked easy but the important is to win, whether it's by five centimetres or two lengths of a bike.

"This is my third win at Circuit de la Sarthe. I like this stage race. The course is lumpy. I've won stage 2 in Angers as a French champion with FDJ (in 2013) so I know what the finish of tomorrow's half stage is like. It'll be important to follow my teammates like today. I'm only targeting the sprints here. The time trial is not my specialty and during stage 4, which is hard, I'll preserve myself for stage 5."

Alex Dowsett and Adriano Malori (Movistar) lead the predictions for Wednesday's time trial in Angers with defending champion Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin), Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Tiago Machado (Katusha) also in contention for a great result against the clock.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits4:32:27 
2Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
3Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot  
4Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha  
5Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
6Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team Europcar  
7Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
8Carlos Mario Ramirez (Col) Colombia  
9Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
10Russell Downing (GBr) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
11Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
12Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
13Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha  
14Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
15Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
16Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo  
17Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Roompot  
18Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
19Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
20Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr  
21Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
22Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
23Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr  
24Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
25Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
26Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
27Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team  
28Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot  
29Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
30Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
31Marinus Cornelis Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
32Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr  
33Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
34Arthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
35Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
36Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka  
37Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia  
38Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
39Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
40Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr  
41John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
42Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
43Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli  
44Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
45Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
46Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
47Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.fr  
48Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
49Gustav Larsson (Swe) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
50Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
51Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
52Christian Mager (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
53Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo  
54Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
55Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
56Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team  
57Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia  
58Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
59Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
60Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
61Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
62Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) Colombia  
63Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
64Troels Ronning Vinther (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
65Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr  
66Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
67Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
68Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
69Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
70Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
71Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
72Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
73Mike Terpstra (Ned) Team Roompot  
74Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
75Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
76Carlos Galviz (Ven) Androni Giocattoli  
77Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
78Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
79Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
80Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
81Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Team Roompot  
82Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
83Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
84Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia0:00:14 
85Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:25 
86Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia0:01:11 
87Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:19 
88Dominique Rollin (Can) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
89Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team  
90Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:33 
91Reinier Honig (Ned) Team Roompot  
92Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
93Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:02 
94John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Androni Giocattoli  
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits4:32:17 
2Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Cult Energy Pro Cycling0:00:01 
3Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:04 
4Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
5Raymond Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot0:00:06 
6Carlos Mario Ramirez (Col) Colombia0:00:07 
7Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:10 
8Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
9Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team Europcar  
10Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
11Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
12Russell Downing (GBr) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
13Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
14Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
15Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha  
16Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
17Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
18Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo  
19Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Roompot  
20Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
22Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr  
23Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
24Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
25Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr  
26Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
27Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
28Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha  
29Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team  
30Michel Kreder (Ned) Team Roompot  
31Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
32Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
33Marinus Cornelis Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
34Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr  
35Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
36Arthur Van Overberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
37Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
38Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN - Qhubeka  
39Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia  
40Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
41Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
42Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr  
43John Gadret (Fra) Movistar Team  
44Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
45Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli  
46Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
47Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
48Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
49Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ.fr  
50Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
51Gustav Larsson (Swe) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
52Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
53Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
54Christian Mager (Ger) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
55Juraj Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo  
56Dmitrii Kozonchuk (Rus) Team Katusha  
57Francis De Greef (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
58Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team  
59Juan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia  
60Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement  
61Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
62Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
63Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) Colombia  
64Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
65Troels Ronning Vinther (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling  
66Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ.fr  
67Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha  
68Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
69Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
70Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
71Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
72Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
73Mike Terpstra (Ned) Team Roompot  
74Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
75Sander Helven (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
76Carlos Galviz (Ven) Androni Giocattoli  
77Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar  
78Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise  
79Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
80Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
81Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Team Roompot  
82Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar  
83Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
84Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia0:00:24 
85Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise0:00:35 
86Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia0:01:21 
87Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:29 
88Dominique Rollin (Can) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
89Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team  
90Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:43 
91Reinier Honig (Ned) Team Roompot  
92Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team  
93Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:12 
94John Kronborg Ebsen (Den) Androni Giocattoli  

 

Related Articles

Back to top