French sprinter says he was cleared to ride by team doctor

Nacer Bouhanni has expressed his disappointment at the decision of the Cofidis team management to withdraw him from Saturday’s Milan-San Remo as he recovered from bronchitis.

Bouhanni had been forced to abandon Paris-Nice ahead of stage six as he suffered from illness, but with the team hopeful that he would recover in time to contest Milan-San Remo, the first Monument of the cycling year, which takes place on Saturday, March 17.

However despite Bouhanni returning to training, the Cofidis management decided that their star sprinter would not find a space the line-up for Milan-San Remo, something that disappointed Bouhanni.

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“Of course [I’m disappointed not to be selected],” Bouhanni told French website cyclismactu.net. “I’m disappointed because I trained for five months for this race. The management of Cofidis told me this Monday and I still went to train.

“It is not me who has forfeited Milan-San Remo. It is a decision of the management of the Cofidis team, a decision that I can only accept and respect even if it is hard for me.

“I was well and I had even the green light of the doctor of the Cofidis team. I got the green light to ride a bike on Saturday morning. After resting on Friday and Saturday, I resumed training on Sunday with 90 minutes of riding and on Monday I did three hours.”

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Despite being unhappy about the selection decision, Bouhanni says that he will continue to act as a professional and prepare properly for upcoming races, including the Volta a Catalunya which starts two days after Milan-San Remo.

With Bouhanni absent the Cofidis team will be led by Christope Laporte, who took two top 10s in stages of Paris-Nice, who will be supported by Guillaume Bonnafond, Bert Van Lerberghe, Cyril Lemoine, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Anthony Turgis, and Loïc Chetout.