The Frenchman of FDJ was a late bloomer in the sprint finish of stage three, but deftly capitalised on a gap to overtake Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEDGE and Alexei Tsatevich of Katusha.
The win, which follows his stage victory the previous day when Bouhanni claimed the red jersey, extends his GC lead to 11 seconds over Australia’s Matthews.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Tony Martin almost threw a spanner into the works of the sprint teams late on when he moved into the lead at the final descent of the 176km stage, forcing the specialists to react.
Stage three results
1. Nacer Bouhanni (France / FDJ.fr) 4:08:15"
2. Michael Matthews (Australia / Orica) ST
3. Alexey Tsatevich (Russia / Katusha)
4. Elia Viviani (Italy / Cannondale)
5. Martin Kohler (Switzerland / BMC Racing)
6. Borut Bozic (Slovenia / Astana)
7. Tosh Van der Sande (Belgium / Lotto)
8. Jesus Herrada (Spain / Movistar)
9. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R)
10. Matti Breschel (Denmark / Saxo - Tinkoff)
General Classificastion after three stages
1. Nacer Bouhanni (France / FDJ.fr) 13:28:18"
2. Michael Matthews (Australia / Orica) +11"
3. Maxime Bouet (France / AG2R)
4. Alexey Tsatevich (Russia / Katusha) +16"
5. Nikolas Maes (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
6. Matti Breschel (Denmark / Saxo - Tinkoff) +18"
7. Rui Costa (Portugal / Movistar) +19"
8. Benat Intxausti (Spain / Movistar)
9. Ryota Nishizono (Japan / Champion System) +20"
10. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)