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Some riders just seem to attract controversy, and they’re usually sprinters. For a time, Mark Cavendish was cycling’s enfant terrible, but now Nacer Bouhanni has taken the mantle, and Wednesday’s messy finish at Tour du Poitou-Charentes was one more example of how things seem to always go sideways for the Frenchman.
Bouhanni, winner of stage 1 Tuesday in the French race, found himself walking across the finish line, leader’s jersey in tatters after a major crash in the sprint finale.
However, it wasn’t the ex-boxer Bouhanni, but rather his 20-year-old brother, Rayane who sought comeuppance after the crash, accosting Asbjorn Kragh Anderson of Delko Marseille, as did another Cofidis teammate of the Bouhanni brothers, Christophe Laporte.
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Laporte and Anderson were each fined 200 Swiss francs and assessed one-minute penalties in the overall.
Ex-pro Didier Rous, the Cofidis sport director blamed the crash on inexperienced riders in the five-day UCI 2.1 stage race, which has a blend of WorldTour, Pro Continental, and Continental teams.
Nacer Bouhanni has had a rough few days, with this crash and controversy coming on the heels of Sunday’s Cyclassics Hamburg, where he was relegated from first to 27th after the race jury decided he’d sprinted irregularly. It wasn’t the first time Bouhanni has missed out on a win due to sketchy riding in the sprints.
Stage 2’s polemics overshadowed Tom Van Asbroeck’s first victory of the season. Although LottoNL – Jumbo’s Sep Vanmarcke said he believed the Belgian was going to win the sprint regardless of the crash.