NEMOURS, France (AP) - Nacer Bouhanni overtook Alessandro Petacchi in a sprint to the line to win the first stage of the Paris-Nice race on Monday.
Bouhanni overtook Petacchi in the last 100 meters and clocked a time of 4 hours, 51 minutes, 1 second over the flat, 121-mile trek from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Nemours. Italian sprinter Elia Viviani finished third in the same time.
Bouhanni took the race leader's yellow jersey from countryman Damien Gaudin, winner of Sunday's short prologue. Gaudin remains second overall ahead of another Frenchman, Sylvain Chavanel.
German rider Marcel Kittel and Tom Boonen of Belgium were among the pre-stage favorites but got left behind when the peloton split with 12 miles to go and could not catch up.