• Nacer Bouhanni takes his second victory within a week, this time at the Tour de la Provence (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Arkea-Samsic look set to beat their 2019 record of just five victories with their sprint star Nacer Bouhanni taking two wins within the last week.
Cycling Central

14 Feb 2020 - 12:33 PM  UPDATED 14 Feb 2020 - 12:50 PM

Bouhanni himself had no Ws in the 2019 column riding for Cofidis but the fast man with a passion for boxing punched his way to victory in the desert on Stage 4 of the Saudi Tour. 

This week he's in wintry Provence jagging a win and the leader's jersey while calling Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil team mates. The Frenchman said it's all down to belief - from his team and himself.  

“My teammates did a superb job in my favour throughout the stage, starting with Maxime Bouet who rode all day," he said. 

"Warren in the final also did a lot of work so that we can come back to the breakaway. I was still three metres away and I had to make an effort before the sprint. I take the wheel of Nizzolo at that time, and in the last corner I make the last effort to win this first stage of the Tour de la Provence.

"I feel confident, the Arkea-Samsic team, the staff, my teammates show me such a feeling, and that motivates me.

"My goal is to bring a maximum of victories to the Arkéa-Samsic team. I left the Saudi Tour slightly frustrated, but winning here, my first success in France, in 2020, on the roads of the Tour de la Provence."

Cyclingnews reports Bouhanni's relationship with Cofidis team boss Cedric Vasseur and team mate Christophe Laporte completely broke down. "For two years, I lived a nightmare, a hell," he told Cyclingnews yesterday.  

It appears to be a totally different story for Bouhanni at Arkea-Samsic.

"Our sprinter demonstrated that he had lost none of his talent, we were convinced for our part," Yvon Ledanois, Arkea-Samsic sport director said. "This rider walks on trust, he totally has ours."

Bouet said Bouhanni's victory will take away some of the pain from his workload on Stage 1.

"It was a big day but tonight the leg ache is mitigated by the success obtained by Nacer," Bouet said. "Our season is off to a good start and it is a pleasure, we are a solid group. The good momentum that has been established at the start of the season within the Arkéa-Samsic team is the symbol of solid preparation this winter. And work as we say always pays."

The Tour de la Provence continues with Stage 2, LIVE streaming from 00:35am AEDT 15 February via SBS On Demand or our website