Jake Stewart has responded after Nacer Bouhanni revealed he has been subject to racist abuse.
British pro Stewart and rival sprinter Bouhanni were involved in a public dispute after a sprinting incident in a French stage race late last month.
Arkéa-Samsic rider Bouhanni was disqualified from Cholet-Pays de la Loire for dangerous sprinting, after he forced Stewart into the barrier during the bunch sprint.
After the pair exchanged words online and in the press, Bouhanni revealed the racist abuse he had been subject to, saying he has been “putting up with this for a long time but won’t let it go any more.”
Stewart, 21, has now responded to the racist abuse suffered by Bouhanni, saying he stands united with the Frenchman.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Stewart said: “Despite our recent difference of opinion, let’s be absolutely clear, I stand united with Nacer Bouhanni.
“We will all agree and disagree on certain things, but one thing that should not be of question is racism.
“The comments and racist directed towards Nacer this week are absolutely deplorable. There is no place for racism in this world.
“To the so-called ‘fans’ of cycling that have made these comments, you are not welcome here.”
The wave of racist abuse aimed at Bouhanni comes after he was disqualified from Cholet-Pays de la Loire for forcing Groupama-FDJ rider Stewart into the barrier during the sprint finish.
British sprinter Stewart was able to stay upright but suffered a broken hand in the incident, as the UCI later released a statement condemning Bouhanni’s actions.
The 30-year-old now faces a possible suspension as the UCI referred the incident to its Disciplinary Commission.
Last year, Jumbo-Visma's Dylan Groenewegen banned from racing for nine months after he forced Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) into the barrier, causing a major crash, in the Tour of Poland.
The UCI has not yet made a statement on the racist abuse Bouhanni has received.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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