Criterium du Dauphine: Nacer Bouhanni sprints to stage four win
Rohan Dennis retains lead as Chris Froome stays 35 seconds back
Last Updated: 10/06/15 5:08pm
France’s Nacer Bouhanni sprinted to his second win of this year’s Criterium du Dauphine on stage four as Australia’s Rohan Dennis retained the overall lead.
Bouhanni (Cofidis) sat tight in the peloton in the last 15km when multiple riders tried and failed with attacks and his patience was rewarded with a comfortable victory over second-placed Jonas van Genechten (IAM Cycling) and third-placed Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin).
Dennis (BMC Racing) finished in the main bunch to consolidate top spot in the general classification, with team-mate Tejay van Garderen staying on the same time in second and Andriy Grivko (Astana) remaining four seconds back in third.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) also finished safely in the pack to stay 35 seconds off the race lead and 31 seconds adrift of rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who is fourth overall.
Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) all attacked out of the peloton over two late climbs and although Wellens fared the best of them, he couldn't hold off the chasing sprint trains and was caught with 2.5km to go.
Bouhanni, who now has five wins to his name this season, said: "It was really hard. It became very complicated at the end because of the attacks in the last hill. Without Julien Simon, it would have been impossible for me to win today. Now it's my fifth win. I hope I will keep going this way."
The eight-day Dauphine continues on Thursday with a 161km mountain stage from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup.
It is the first of the race’s three summit finishes and is also an exact replica of stage 17 of this year's Tour de France, thereby offering the likes of Froome and Nibali a chance to reconnoitre the climb in race conditions.
Stage four result
1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, 5:30:53
2 Jonas van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling, same time
3 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka, st
5 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha, st
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step, st
7 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
8 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal, st
9 Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
10 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin, st
1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing, 13:31:30
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, same time
3 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana, +4secs
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, st
5 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana, st
6 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana, st
7 Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana, st
8 Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, +5
9 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, st
10 John Gadret (Fra) Movistar, st
21 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +35