SALSOMAGGIORE TERME, Italy (AP) French rider Nacer Bouhanni timed another sprint to perfection to win his third stage in this year’s Giro d’Italia, and Cadel Evans’ overall lead remained unchanged after Tuesday’s 10th leg.
Bouhanni clocked just over 4 hours on the mostly flat 173-kilometer (108-mile) route from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme.
Italian rider Giacomo Nizzolo finished second for his fourth podium finish of this year’s race and Michael Matthews of Australia was third, both with the same time as Bouhanni.
It was the eighth win this year and the 28th career victory for Bouhanni, who rides for the FDJ.fr team.
”The speed was very high at the end. I took Nizzolo’s wheel and was able to pass him,” Bouhanni said of his burst to the line. ”My goal is the points jersey.”
With Mark Cavendish skipping the Giro and with Marcel Kitttle having withdrawn after winning the first two individual stages, Bouhanni doesn’t have many rivals in the sprints capable of beating him.
”Cavendish is Cavendish and I’m Bouhanni,” the stage winner said when asked who was faster, adding that he stays fit in the offseason by boxing.
A crash in the final kilometer involved American sprinter Tyler Farrar.
Belgian rider Yannick Eijssen, a teammate of Evans with BMC, was involved in a fall with about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to go and was put on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance with a brace around his neck.
Evans remained 57 seconds ahead of Colombian rival Rigoberto Uran in the overall standings.
Stage 11 Wednesday is a 249-kilometer (155-mile) leg from Collecchio to Savona with two minor climbs, including one shortly before the finish.
Evans, the 37-year-old Australian who won the 2011 Tour de France, was looking ahead to Thursday’s 41.9-kilometer (26-mile) individual time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo, which celebrates two of Italy’s best-known wines.
”I think it suits me better than most of my overall rivals,” Evans said.