Nacer Bouhanni has said that Jake Stewart should ‘give up sprinting’ if his life really did flash before his eyes when the pair came together at the Cholet-Pays de la Loire race last week.
Bouhanni was disqualified from the race as his actions saw Stewart into a barrier at the finish, with the Briton suffering a broken hand. The 30-year-old Frenchman has been referred to the UCI disciplinary commission and the Arkea-Samsic team member could face further punishment.
Stewart spoke to Rouleur about the incident and the 21-year-old rider said that his life ‘flashed before his eyes’ in the crash.
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In the aftermath of the incident Bouhanni denied that his actions were deliberate and apologised to Groupama-FDJ's Stewart.
However Bouhanni has spoken again on social media to address the matter, and said:
You can say I’m a sprinter who takes risks, who doesn’t give up his position, who’s aggressive, who does everything to win… You can say anything you want, but to throw me into the barriers for trying to win a cycling race, that’s pure madness.
“Actively wanting to injure someone and put my rival’s life at risk as well as my own, that’s crazy talk.
“I’m not a thug. I’m a sportsman who became a father a few months ago, so believe me that, if only for my child, I would never take such risks consciously. I just wanted to win the race. Unfortunately it ended badly. But in this misfortune there is a lot of luck because in reality disaster was avoided.”
Bouhanni continued: “Concerning Jake Stewart, he is young and he will do other sprints – for a long time, I hope. If he really saw his life flash like he said in that interview, I would advise him to give up sprinting.”
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