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Bouhanni to lead FDJ at the Giro d'Italia

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French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat)

French champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat)
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins the first stage of Paris-Nice

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins the first stage of Paris-Nice
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) rockets to victory at the Tour of Oman.

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) rockets to victory at the Tour of Oman.
(Image credit: ASO)

French national champion Nacer Bouhanni will ride the Giro d'Italia for the first time his career, taking on rival sprinters Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini-Sella Italia).

The 23-year-old Bouhanni rode the Vuelta a España in 2012, taking several placings before climbing off during stage 13.

He has won four races this season, including the final stage at the Tour of Oman and the first stage at Paris-Nice. He will be the protected sprinter for FDJ in Italy and share leadership with overall classification outsider Arnold Jeannesson and veteran rider Sandy Casar.

"It'd be good if he won this time, the Giro sprints suit him," FDJ manager Marc Madiot told AFP, pointing out that several of the Giro stages include late climbs that should not be a problem for Bouhanni.

FDJ for the Giro d'Italia: Murilo Fischer, Anthony Roux, Jussi Veikkanen, Johan Le Bon, Nacer Bouhanni, Sandy Casar, Arnold Jeannesson, Laurent Pichon and Francis Mourey.

Dominique Rollin and Kenny Elissonde have been named as reserves.