Tour de la Provence (st. 1)
Swiss youngster from Movistar Team caught just 3km from finish in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer; Cullaigh 15th as Bouhanni (ARK) takes win, GC lead.
Nacer Bouhanni (ARK) became the first leader in the 5th edition of the Tour de La Provence as he won the bunch sprint in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer at the end of the inaugural stage. The 149km from Châteaurenaud saw the Movistar Team seeking for a good role early in this event as part of the day’s breakaway.
Johan Jacobs got himself into the four-man morning move after just 4km, a group also including Charlie Quarterman (TFS), Louis Louvet (AUB) and Romain Combaud (NDP). The attempt was always kept by the teams with sprinters around two-and-a-half minutes ahead, the escapees working well together until some attacks into the coastal circuit around the finish.
The breakaway by the young Swiss -resident in Belgium- was caught just 3km from the end, right as the peloton started preparing a bunch kick where Gabriel Cullaigh made a good progression before the finishing straight, yet had to content himself with 15th place at the end.
The Tour de la Provence will tackle on Friday and Saturday the mountains set to decide its GC outcome. Stage two, the prelude to the big Chalet Reynard / Mont Ventoux finish, will cover in the end of its 175 kilometers the steep ascents of Brûlat (2.4km, 8.5%) and Les Crêtes (3.4km, 8%), the latter as hilltop finish.
Cover picture (c): La Provence Sport
- 01 Nacer Bouhanni Arkéa Samsic 3h16'35"
- 02 Jakub Mareczko CCC Team "
- 03 Giacomo Nizzolo NTT Pro Cycling Team "
- 15 Gabriel Cullaigh Movistar Team "
- 16 Lluís Mas Movistar Team "
- 23 Sebastián Mora Movistar Team "
- 55 Juri Hollmann Movistar Team "
- 73 Edu Prades Movistar Team "
- 97 Davide Villella Movistar Team "
- 102 Johan Jacobs Movistar Team "
- 01 Nacer Bouhanni Arkéa Samsic 3h16'25"
- 02 Jakub Mareczko CCC Team +4"
- 03 Giacomo Nizzolo NTT Pro Cycling Team +6"
- 05 Johan Jacobs Movistar Team "
- 19 Gabriel Cullaigh Movistar Team +10"
- 20 Lluís Mas Movistar Team "
- 27 Sebastián Mora Movistar Team "
- 59 Juri Hollmann Movistar Team "
- 77 Edu Prades Movistar Team "
- 99 Davide Villella Movistar Team "