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Cycling: Bouhanni takes stage to end French drought

Published on May 13, 2014 11:51 PM
French rider Nacer Bouhanni (centre) of team celebrates after winning the fourth stage, 112 km from Giovinazzo to Bari, of the 97th Giro d'Italia cycling race, in Bari, Italy, on May 13, 2014. -- PHOTO: EPA

BARI (AFP) - Sprint specialist Nacer Bouhanni ended a three-year drought for French cyclists in the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday as he won the 112-kilometre fourth stage from Giovinazzo to Bari.

The 23-year-old rider won the stage - which saw the organisers decide not to allocate bonus times on the final 8.3km lap around Bari because of the dreadful weather - to record his first ever stage win in a major Tour and become the first since John Gadret in 2011 to prevail on the Giro.

Australia's Michael Matthews retained the overall leader's pink jersey.

Bouhanni's task had been amde significantly easier when Germany's Marcel Kittel, who had won two of the first three stages in sprint finishes, was unable to start the stage because he was running a fever according to his team Giant-Shimano.