Stickybottle

Bad to worse for Nacer Bouhanni after elimination in Tirreno

Posted on: March 13th, 2019

Nacer Bouhanni eliminated Tirreno TTT

Nacer Bouhanni has a colourful record and seems to be almost permanently in conflict with his team. He hasn’t given them much to cheer about at the Tirreno-Adriatico.

 

It’s something you rarely see in professional cycling but Nacer Bouhanni has been eliminated on the opening day of Tirreno-Adriatico; in a time trial.

The French rider lost contact with his Cofidis team mates early in the 21.5km race. He limped on and made it to the finish alone.

However, because he rode on his own all the way and the winner’s time was just 22 minutes and 25 seconds, he was up against it.

The time cut that all riders must complete stages within is always a percentage of the winner’s time. And because today’s stage was so short, the margin for error was tiny.

In TTTs the time cut is 25 per cent of the stage winners’ time. That meant he had to be within 5:36 of Mitchelton-Scott’s time today.

However, he was 6:44 down and he is out of the race as a result. His team has suggested he may not have been fit to race.

“Nacer Bouhanni was suffering and weak and was unable to keep the pace of his team in the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico,” said Cofidis.

“He let go quickly in the team time trial that opened the race and did not manage to meet the deadline.

“The rider left the race and the day after will undergo additional examinations to find the origin of his poor form.”

 

Nacer Bouhanni previous problems

Bouhanni has been in dispute with his team management and even team mates many times over the years. He has made it known in recent months he’s shopping around for a new team.

Just over a week ago one of his team directors, Cedric Vasseur, said Bouhanni must this year justify his salary and status within the team as his contract is expiring.

He was left out of the team for the Tour last year; his team saying he must be more consistent. However, he secured a ride in the Vuelta and won a stage.

Two years ago at Paris-Bourges he was involved in the sprint for victory when Rudy Barbier (AG2R-La Mondiale) won.

Bouhanni angrily confront him after the race over the way he sprinter and was forced to apologise afterwards.

He has also been involved in no shortage of other scrapes:

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