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Nacer Bouhanni wins 1st stage of Paris-Nice race


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MANTES-LA-JOLIE, France (AP) — Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni overcame a sore knee to win the first stage of the Paris-Nice race in a sprint finish on Sunday.

Bouhanni needed treatment from the race doctor several times for cuts to his left knee after falling during the stage, but this did not hinder him for speed as he won by more than a bike's length.

German John Degenkolb led the pack in the final stretch as the riders prepared to go for the line. Belgian rider Gianni Meersman attacked with about 100 meters to go and Bouhanni responded immediately to surge past him. Degenkolb then overtook Meersman, who finished in third place.

The 162.5-kilometer (101-mile) stage started and finished in the Parisian suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie. The top three all clocked 3 hours, 53 minutes, 11 seconds.

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