NEMOURS, France, March 4, 2013 – French champion Nacer Bouhanni,
riding for FDJ, won the opening stage of the Paris-Nice on Monday, taking the
195km race from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Nemours in a sprint finish.
The 22-year-old won a frantic race to the line and just edged Italian duo
Alessandro Petacchi and Elia Viviani as he also took the overall leaders
Compatriot Daniel Gaudin who won Sunday’s prologue relinquishes the race
lead after Bouhanni picked up a 10sec bonus for winning the stage and is
classified above Viviani after bettering the Italian by .18sec in the opening
“The team did a great job for me,” beamed Bouhanni, who also picked up a
stage win on the Tour of Oman earlier this season.
“I am still young and taking part in only my third season as a professional
but I think I have grown in experience as well as strategy in the sprints and
increasing my power,” he added.
“I feel I have improved in the short climbs over two or three kilometres
which allows me to arrive fresher at the finish.”
“I was concentrated on my sprint and didn’t tell myself to take the wheel
of anyone in particular.
Tuesday’s second stage is a 200.5km ride from Vimory to Cerilly with a
relatively flat finish that will likely feature another sprint finish.
Results from Monday’s 1st stage of
the Paris-Nice, a 195km ride from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Nemours:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 195km in 4hr 47min 24sec
2. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) s.t.
3. Elia Viviani (ITA/CAN) s.t.
4. Jens Debusschere (BEL/LTB) s.t.
5. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) s.t.
6. Mark Renshaw (AUS/BLA) s.t.
7. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) s.t.
8. Leigh Howard (AUS/ORI) s.t.
9. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) s.t.
10. Romain Feillu (FRA/VAC) s.t.
1. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 4hr 51min 01sec, 2. Damien Gaudin (FRA/EUC)
s.t., 3. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) at 1sec, 4. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) s.t.,
5. Elia Viviani (ITA/LIQ) s.t., 6. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) 2, 7. Wilco
Kelderman (NED/RAB) s.t., 8. Geoffrey Soupe (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 9. Peter Velits
(SVK/OPQ) 3, 10. Tony Gallopin (FRA/RSH) s.t., 11. Borut Bozic (SLO/AST) s.t.,
12. Sebastien Turgot (FRA/EUC) 4, 13. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 5, 14. Jose
Herrada (ESP/MOV) s.t., 15. Nikolas Maes (BEL/OPQ) s.t.