Bouhanni makes it two in a row in Catalunya

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) confirmed his status as the fastest rider in the Volta a Catalunya by claiming another dominant sprint win of stage 2 of the Spanish race.

After another great lead-out by Geoffrey Soupe, he easily held off Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) in the final dash to the line, with Philippe Gilbert (BMC) crossing the line as a distant third. With the win, Bouhanni extended his overall lead.

“It’s been a great start to this race, and we’ve won two stages,” said Bouhanni. “We will see what happens [Wednesday]. I wasn’t feeling great this morning, I had a bad stomach, and had to see the doctor, so let’s see if I can make it.”

With the win, Bouhanni extended his lead over Ben Swift (Sky) and De Gendt to 14 seconds. However, he won’t be a contender in tomorrow’s stage which will see the riders head into the Pyrenees for the first of two big mountain stages. After a flat start, the riders face two category 1 climbs before they get to the final circuit which they will cover twice. It includes the category 1 climb of La Molina which averages 4.5% over 11.1km and as the finish line comes at the top, the first big battle between the climbers is expected.

Volta a Catalunya 2016 – stage 2 results (Mataró – Olot):

1 Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

4:39:10

2 Gianni Meersman (Etixx – QuickStep)

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3 Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

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4 Aleksei Tsatevich (Katusha)

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5 Carlos Barbera (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)

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6 Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo)

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7 Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty – Groupe Gobert)

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8 Jonas Vangenechten (IAM)

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9 Pawel Franczak (Verva ActiveJet)

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10 Kévin Reza (FDJ)

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