Tour of Beijing: Nacer Bouhanni sprints to second victory in China
Last Updated: October 14, 2013 1:52pm
Nacer Bouhanni: Showed his speed once again in China
Nacer Bouhanni extended his race lead at the Tour of Beijing after claiming a second stage victory.
The Frenchman (FDJ) captured his second win in as many days in Qiandiajian after starting his sprint late in an exciting finale.
Pushing his grip on the red jersey out to 11 seconds, Bouhanni took advantage of a gap which opened up in the sprint to edge out both Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Alexei Tsatevich (Katusha) at the finish.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) gave his rivals a fright in the closing stages as the two-time defending race champion went clear briefly on the final descent, forcing a reaction from the sprint teams.
The 176-kilometre day saw a shift in the race as the climbs began in earnest following two opening sprint stages.
The test began without second-placed Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) after the stage one winner was forced to leave the race due to a family emergency. Despite that the GC remained razor close after two flatter finishes.
Six men edged clear ahead of the first intermediate sprint of the day, Marc Goos (Belkin), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff), Albert Timmer (Argos-Shimano), Wesley Sulzberger (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Hayden Roulston (RadioShack-Leopard) combining on a day which featured no less than seven categorised climbs.
Team Sky kept a watching brief up front with Omega Pharma - QuickStep and AG2R La Mondiale both active in the peloton, the latter pacing the field up the second-category Cang Mi Gu Dao summit and eating into the break's advantage.
Things came back together with 30km to go but not before Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) had tried to go clear. FDJ hit the front to shut down the Australian in a bid to set up a bunch sprint.
A number of big names, including Martin and world champion Rui Costa (Movistar), showed on the final brief rise but there was no stopping a third consecutive bunch kick.
Stage three result
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, 4:08:15
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, same time
3 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha, st
4 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale, st
5 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing, st
6 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana, st
7 Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st
8 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar, st
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, st
10 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, 13:28:18
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, +11secs
3 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, same time
4 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha, +16
5 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
6 Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff, +18
7 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +19
8 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar, st
9 Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Champion System, st
10 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +20