Updated: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:24 | By Agence France-Presse

Bouhanni sprints to third win, Evans keeps lead

Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni sprinted to victory in the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday after a mainly flat 173km run that finished in Salsomaggiore Terme. 

Bouhanni sprints to third win, Evans keeps lead

Nacer Bouhanni crosses the finish line in Salsomaggiore Terme to win the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 20, 2014 - by Luk Benies

It was a third stage win of this year's race for the Francaise des Jeux rider, who again held off Italian Giacomo Nizzolo, as during his two previous wins.

Australian Michael Matthews came home third in a mass sprint as his compatriot Cadel Evans retained the overall leader's pink jersey. 

Following Monday's rest day, the French champion triumphed for the third time in eight days as a mass pile-up with 700m to go played havoc with the peloton racing for home. 

"It's never easy," said Bouhanni, who solidifies his position as points leader and holder of the red jersey. 

"It was pretty fast in the final sprint. Nizzolo attacked but I was able to go past him," added the 23-year-old, who equalled compatriot Laurent Jalabert's haul of three stage wins on the 1999 Giro. 

Under sunny skies, Italian duo Andrea Fedi and Marco Bandiera launched an escape in the early stages that was doomed from the outset.

Their maximum lead reached 8min 30secs before the peloton swept them up with 9km to go which set up a mass sprint for the line.  

Evans maintains his 57sec lead over Colombian Rigoberto Uran as both riders came home with the pack.

However, the 2011 Tour de France winner lost one of his BMC team-mates when Belgian Yannick Eijssen fell victim to a crash during the last hour of the stage. 

Wednesday's 11th stage will feature a 249km run from Collecchio, near Parma, to Savona and includes a category two climb before a descent to the finish. 

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