By Nigel Wynn
French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) won the bunch gallop at the end of stage two of the 2013 Tour of Beijing on Saturday, taking over the race lead from stage one victor Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing).
Bouhanni got the better of Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida) and Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) in the fast-paced finale as Hushovd was content to roll over the line in the peloton, relinquishing his overnight lead.
Bouhanni leads Hushovd overall - though the two are tied on time - with Maxime Bouet (Ag2r) in third at one second. Bouet was part of a four-man escape group with Chad Beyer (Champion System), Massimo Graziato (Lampre-Merida) and Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) earlier in the hilly 201.5km stage, grabbing himself bonus time on the intermediate sprints to climb up the standings.
Sunday's stage offers up another hilly day, featuring no less than seven categorised climbs including the category one Sihai climb just after the half-way point to Qiandiajian. It could be the first opportunity for the overall contenders to show their hand.
Tour of Beijing 2013, stage two: Huairou Studio City to Yanqing, 201.5km
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ in 4-59-49
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Matti Breschel (Den) Saxo-Tinkoff
5. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6. Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Lotto Belisol
8. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale all same time
Overall classificaiton after stage two
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ in 9-20-13
2. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing at same time
3. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 1 sec
4. Willem Wauters (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 3 secs
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano at 4 secs
6. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7. Chad Beyer (USA) Champion System at 5 secs
8. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 6 secs
9. Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 6 secs
10. Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 7 secs
Steve Cummings leads BMC
Thomas De Gendt in escape group
Nacer Bouhanni wins
Bouhanni assumes the race lead
Thor Hushovd wins Tour of Beijing stage one
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