Nacer Bouhanni sprints to victory in Volta a Catalunya
Mar 24 2017 12:17 am CET

Nacer Bouhanni sprints to victory in Volta a Catalunya

Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis has won the shortened fourth stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

The fourth of seven stages was shortened by more than 50 kilometers as result of the snow in the area, leaving a total of just over 140 kilometers and allowing for a rather explosive finale.

An early breakaway of ten riders had little success and was eventually replaced by a new group of five with Marijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Juan Felipe Osorio (Manzana-Postobon), Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates) and Jose Goncalves (Katusha-Alpecin).

The group created an advantage of over three minutes but couldn't prevent that the peloton caught four of the five riders with about 20 kilometers to go. Only Osorio held on a little longer but he too was eventually reeled in.

Astana's Jakub Fuglsang and Dario Cataldo launched a surprise joint attack at 15 kilometers from the finish but the peloton avoided panic and neutralized the situation shortly after.

A seemingly more effective attack took place near the summit of the second-category Tudo del Puig as Chris Froome, David Gaudu, Alejandro Valverde and his Movistar teammate Marco Soler rode away from the bunch in an attempt to win time on the descent.

However, although the four did create a bit of a gap, they were eventually caught again at five kilometers from the finish.

The following mass sprint, which took place after just over three hours of racing, saw an easy victory for Bouhanni. The Cofidis rider crossed the line well ahead of Davide Cimolai and Daryl Impey.

There are no significant changes in the general classification as Tejay Van Garderen retains the leader's jersey for another day.
Photo of Nacer Bouhanni (cropped) by Cofidis