BEIJING (AFP) —Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) took his second stage win in as many days on the Tour of Beijing on Sunday to extend his lead in the general classification.
Bouhanni won a bunch sprint at the end of the 176km third stage from Yanqing to Qiandiajian, though the climbers had been expected to dominate with seven ascents on the route.
World champion Rui Costa’s Movistar team attacked on the final climb before defending champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who is hoping to make it three wins in a row, took the lead.
But the Frenchman’s riders reeled him and the 23-year-old shot down the outside on the finishing straight to win ahead of Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and Aleksei Tsatevich (Katusha).
“I went on the left and I didn’t hesitate,” Bouhanni said, according to a report released by the organizers.
“It was hard but I had a super team to support me and I didn’t want to disappoint them and I went for it.”
The win stretched Bouhanni’s lead in the battle for the red jersey from one second to 11, ahead of Matthews and fellow Frenchman Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
Costa now sits seventh overall, 19 seconds from the leader, and Martin is 21st, one more second behind.
Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing), who won the first stage, had to abandon the race on Saturday to fly home after his daughter was taken to hospital.