Volta a Catalunya 2016: Nacer Bouhanni makes it two from two

Frenchman storms to victory after perfect lead-out

Nacer Bouhanni made it two wins from two days at the Volta a Catalunya, extending his overall lead with a perfectly-timed sprint.

Bouhanni, in the leader’s jersey, was led out perfectly by Geoffrey Soupe and there was never any doubt the Frenchman would make it back-to-back victories in the final sprint.

Nacer Bouhanni, pictured at Paris-Nice, made it two wins from two in Catalunya (pic: Sirotti)

Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) was second, but it was Bouhanni with his arms in the air for the second consecutive stage.

Maxime Bouet (Etixx-QuickStep), who was part of the short-lived second breakaway on stage one, and Boris Dron (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) – who was in the original stage one break – both clocked more miles up the road on stage two.

They were joined by Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Kamil Gradek (VERVA ActiveJet) but the four men were never given too substantial a lead.

With 25km to race, only the dangerous De Gendt was still in front, and Cofidis had successfully reeled him in with 15km to race.

Despite the race having come together, the tempo remained relatively sedate, however, with little to shout about in the way of attacking attempts on the steady incline to the finish.

Finally the pace ramped up thanks to an injection of pace from Movistar among others on the wide-open roads.

Orica-GreenEDGE and Tinkoff were also showing their faces as they passed under the 3km to go banner, while Cofidis and Trek were never far from the front either.

FDJ took over, with Kevin Reza at third wheel, after an injection of pace on the opposite side of the road but the fight for position continued apace behind – with both safety for the GC men and the sprint on teams’ minds.

Bouhanni’s lead-out train were in front as they rounded the final roundabout though, and the Frenchman was tucked perfectly on Soupe’s wheel.

As soon as he kicked there was never any doubt who would win, with Bouhanni comfortably beating Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) to make it two wins in two days.

He will wear the leader’s jersey again on stage three, but La Molina should see the GC start to take shape properly after stage three.

Volta a Catalunya 2016: stage two – result

1) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis – 4.39.10hrs
2) Gianni Meersman (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep – ST
3) Philippe Gilbert (BEL) – BMC Racing
4) Alexey Tsatevich (RUS) – Katusha
5) Carlos Barbero (ESP) – Caja Rural
6) Kiel Reijnen (USA) – Trek-Segafredo
7) Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8) Jonas Vangenechten (BEL) – IAM Cycling
9) Pawel Franczak (POL) – VERVA ActiveJet
10) Kevin Reza (FRA) – FDJ

General classification

1) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis – 9.07.41hrs
2) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky +14″
3) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal – ST
4) Daryl Impey (RSA) – Orica-GreenEDGE +16″
5) Philippe Gilbert (BEL) – BMC Racing – ST
6) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – Etixx-QuickStep
7) Louis Vervaeke (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal +17″
8) Javier Moreno (ESP) – Movistar +18″
9) Ruben Fernandez (ESP) – Movistar +19″
10) Alexey Tsatevich (RUS) – Katusha +20″


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