Bouhanni tops Petacchi to win 1st Paris-Nice stage

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Associated Press

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

NEMOURS, France (AP) — Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni overtook Italian veteran Alessandro Petacchi in a sprint to the line to win the first stage of the Paris-Nice race on Monday.

Bouhanni overtook Petacchi in the last 100 meters and clocked a time of 4 hours, 47 minutes, 24 seconds over the flat 195-kilometer (121-mile) trek from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Nemours. Italian sprinter Elia Viviani finished third in the same time.

Bouhanni took the race leader's yellow jersey from countryman Damien Gaudin, winner of Sunday's short prologue. Gaudin remains second overall ahead of another Frenchman, Sylvain Chavanel.

German rider Marcel Kittel and Tom Boonen of Belgium were among the pre-stage favorites but got left behind when the peloton split with 20 kilometers (12 miles) to go and could not catch up.

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