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Nacer Bouhanni banned for two months after pushing Jake Stewart into barriers

UCI sanctions French sprinter for incident at end of Cholet-Pays de la Loire race in February

Nacer Bouhanni has been handed a two-month ban following an incident at the Cholet-Pays de la Loire race in February in which the Arkéa-Samsic sprinter pushed Groupama-FDJ rider Jake Stewart into the crash barriers on the approach to the line.

Bouhanni had initially denied that his action was “intentional,” but in a statement released this evening, the UCI said that at a hearing held by its Disciplinary Committee last Thursday, the Frenchman “admitted to having deviated from his line and committed a violation of the UCI Regulations.

“The rider agreed to the imposition of a two-month suspension starting retroactively on 8 April 2021,” the UCI said.

“The suspension shall end on 7 June 2021. The rider also agreed to the imposition of educational measures for the benefit of the cycling family.”

The governing body said that it “is committed to continuing its work to make road cycling a safer sport for riders and reiterates that dangerous behaviour has no place in modern cycling.

“Therefore, the UCI reminds that any breach of the rules of safety or care shall be subject to disciplinary action,” it added.

The British rider was able to stay upright and avoided crashing, and accused Bouhanni of having “no respect” for the safety of fellow riders.

The 21 year old from Coventry, who finished second in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, said in a tweet that Bouhanni had “no brain cells.”

In a response issued via his team, Bouhanni claimed that he hadn’t seen Stewart, but now appears to have accepted that he was at fault.

> UCI “strongly condemns” Nacer Bouhanni for pushing Jake Stewart into barriers

At the time, some social media users likened the incident to the one at last year’s Tour de Pologne that resulted in Deceuninck-Quick Step rider Fabio Jakobsen being placed in an induced coma after Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma pushed him into crash barriers during a downhill sprint.

Groenewegen was handed a nine-month ban by the UCI Disciplinary Commission following the incident, which happened during a downhill sprint in the opening stage of the race last August.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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