Bouhanni hits first

Stage summary29.03.2014Stage 1- Porto-Vecchio / Porto-Vecchio

Victorious of the first stage of Paris-Nice a few weeks ago, Nacer Bouhanni hit hard again on the Critérium International, capturing victory on the morning stage around the city of Porto Vecchio. The FDJ.fr sprinter appears to have recovered from the knee injury he suffered, beating Nathan Haas and Marko Kump to the line in a bunched sprint. Bouhanni claims the overall leader's Yellow Jersey.

The sun was shining and the wind strongly blowing on the Island of Corsica and the city of Porto Vecchio for the early start of stage 1 of the 83rd edition of the Critérium International. 113 riders took off at 9:31 on the 89kms course around Porto Vecchio. As soon as the first kilometre, four men managed to pull away from the pack: Gougeard (ALM), Venturini (COF), Vaubourzeix (LPM) and Vimpère (BIG). This 100% French escapee group enjoyed a maximum 2' lead at km 25 before seeing the pack led by teams FDJ.fr and Trek move closer.

At the summit of the only hill of the day, the Côte de Conca (km 46.5), where Vimpère collected the most climber's points ahead of Gougeard and Vaubourzeix, the pack was only 35” adrift. The front men were eventually caught at km 48. Team  AG2R-La Mondiale then took command of the race and the peloton broke up into two groups with a bunch of 50 riders including the likes of Andy Schleck (TFR) and Janez Brajkovic (AST) dropped behind. Thankfully, the pack bunched up together again with 20 kilometres to go.

The only intermediate sprint of the day (km 73.5) was then claimed by Brandle (IAM) ahead of Jungels (TFR) and Rossetto (BIG). With 15kms to go, Vanotti (AST) gave it a go on his own. The Italian enjoyed a slim 10” lead with 10kms to go. He was eventually caught, two kilometres from the finish. Time had then come for a bunched sprint. Well helped out by his FDJ.fr team mates, Nacer Bouhanni flew to victory, comfortably beating Nathan Haas (GRS) and Marko Kump (TCS) to the line. The Frenchman therefore captures the overall leader's Yellow Jersey before the afternoon's individual time-trial. Bouhanni also leads the points and best young rider's standings while Vimpère is the best climber so far.

Stage 1 Porto-Vecchio / Porto-Vecchio

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 3

Classifications after the stage 3

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