Bouhanni gets his revenge in Paris-Nice

After the frustration of losing Tuesday’s sprint by a jury decision, Nacer Bouhanni was vindicated with a convincing win in Thursday’s stage 3 at Paris-Nice in Romans-sur-Isère.

“My teammates did a fantastic job. There were still four of them with me in the finale,” Bouhanni said. “I was a little bit vengeful after my disqualification. It was at the back of my mind. I had been disappointed so far. In the first sprint, Arnaud (Demare) outwitted us. The next day I was disqualified. That’s sport. We all want to win stages.

“I’m really glad to have won especially after the work done by my teammates. My form is growing little by little and Paris-Nice is the ideal preparation for my big objective, which is Milan-San Remo.”

Race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) finished in fifth behind Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) to hold onto the maillot jaune with a 14-second lead over Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), with Patrick Bevin of Cannondale remaining in third 19 seconds back.

For Matthews, the stage was one of the last chances for the sprinters before the race ascends the Mont Ventoux on Friday, and the wear began to show as Orica-GreenEdge fought to control the stage.

“Today was about saving energy,” Matthews said. “I was really tired after yesterday. It was only 100 km but they were really tiring. So today was about saving strength and keeping out of trouble as there were several crashes in the bunch. Tomorrow is another hard day but I think I can get over the Ventoux. If that’s the case and there’s a few sprinters left, I’ll be among those who stand a good chance. Between the GC and another stage win? I’m really going to take it day by day.”

Paris-Nice 2016 – stage 4 results (Juliénas – Romans-sur-Isère):

1 Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

4:42:29

2 Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)

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3 André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)

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4 Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

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5 Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEDGE)

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6 Ben Swift (Sky)

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7 Nikolas Maes (Etixx – QuickStep)

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8 Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)

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9 Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data)

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10 Roy Curvers (Giant-Alpecin)  ,,

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