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Bouhanni claims first win of 2015 in Circuit Sarthe opener

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) made it into the top ten in Milan-San Remo

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) made it into the top ten in Milan-San Remo (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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

 

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