Tour de Picardie: Kenny van Hummel takes stage two after Nacer Bouhanni disqualified
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tour de Picardie: Kenny van Hummel takes stage two after Nacer Bouhanni disqualified

by Ben Atkins at 1:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
French sprinter adjudged to have impeded rivals in Villers-Bocage finish

kenny van hummelKenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) was awarded the victory in stage two of the Tour de Picardie, between Tergnier and Villers-Bocage, after original winner Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat) was adjudged to have sprinted irregularly. Among the riders obstructed by the Frenchman was stage one winner, and race leader, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), who was unable to pass van Hummel, or Stéphane Poulhiés (Saur-Sojasun), despite being led out by his team, and the German had to settle for an upgrade to third.

“Sometimes you need a bit of luck and after the sprint I felt that they might set Bouhanni back,” said van Hummel. "In the last 5-k it was hard with the crosswind and I sprinted from a good position but wasn’t able to pass Bouhanni who needed a lot of space.”
Despite having taken a number of podium spots so far, including third place in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, this is the first win for van Hummel in 2012.

“I worked hard this winter and in races like Tirreno-Adriatico and Catalunya I felt I got stronger,” he said. “Like every year I start winning at this time of the season but I have to say it was about to frustrate me that I didn’t take a win yet. The team and I worked hard on the sprint and it finally pays off. It is a nice challenge to work on a sprint as a team.

“I am happy the first is in and now I want a quick second win in which I cross the finish first.”

Unlike the previous stage’s rolling parcours, the second stage offered very little to those out to deny the sprinters. There were a number of early attacks, but none able to get more than a few seconds clear before being pulled back. Bjorn Thurau (Europcar) - whose father Didi won the 1975 edition of the race, when it was known as the Tour de l’Oise - escaped over the Côte de Templeux-la-Fosse after 57.5km, but he too was quickly recaptured.

Finally, after 62km, Sébastien Turgot (Europcar) escaped, along with Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) and Arnoud Van Groen ( Verandas). The three riders managed to open up a lead of 3’45” with 70km to go, before Degenkolb’s Argos-Shimano team began to pull them back.

At the intermediate sprint, on the Villers-Bocage finish line with just two 17km finishing circuits to come, the gap was down to 2’02” and, on the second passing of the finish line, was 1’19”. The trio was finally caught with 9km to go, and the sprinters’ teams began to prepare for the finish..

Argos-Shimano led into the final kilometre and seemed to be doing everything right for Degenkolb’s second victory, but Bouhanni had other ideas and was the first to cross the line. The FDJ-BigMat sprinter was adjudged to have impeded Degenkolb however, and was relegated to 76th place, last in what was left of the peloton.

The ten-second time bonus for van Hummel was enough to lift the Dutch sprinter into the overall podium positions but, four seconds for Degenkolb meant that the German held onto the race lead going into the third and final stage.

Result stage 2
1. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
2. Stéphane Poulhiés (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
4. Benoit Drujon (Fra) Auber 93
5. Fabien Bacquet (Fra) Auber 93
6. Justin Jules (Fra) Véranda Rideau-Super U
7. Jimmy Casper (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Takashi Miyazawa (Jap) Team Saxo Bank
9. Marcel Sieberg (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
10. Denis Flahaut (Fra) Roubaix-Lille Metropole

Standings after stage 1
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 4s
3. Takashi Miyazawa (Jap) Team Saxo Bank @ 8s
4. Stéphane Poulhiés (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
5. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
6. Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar @10s
7. Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis
8. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Movistar Team @ 11s
9. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
10. Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis


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