By Alex Ballinger published
Nacer Bouhanni has been banned from racing for two months for a sprint incident with Britain’s Jake Stewart.
Arkéa-Samsic rider Bouhanni was disqualified from the French one-day race Cholet Pays de la Loire in March after he shoved Stewart into the barriers on the finish straight.
Following the incident, the UCI condemned the Frenchman’s actions and said it would investigate with the possibility of a sanction for Bouhanni.
On Wednesday (May 12) the UCI announced that Bouhanni, who was subjected to a tirade of racist abuse online following the incident, would be banned for two months, with his suspension back-dated to the day after his last race.
The UCI said: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that its Disciplinary Commission has rendered its decision regarding the incident involving UCI ProTeam Arkéa–Samsic rider Nacer Bouhanni, during the Cholet-Pays de la Loire race on March 28, 2021.
“The Disciplinary Commission held a hearing on May 6, 2021, at which the rider 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 April, 8 2021. The suspension shall end on June 7, 2021.
“The rider also agreed to the imposition of educational measures for the benefit of the cycling family.”
British pro Stewart (Groupam-FDJ) and rival sprinter Bouhanni were involved in a public dispute after the race.
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, responded online to the abuse Bouhanni had received, saying he stood united with the rider and condemning the actions of those sending the abuse.
The UCI then released a statement saying it “firmly condemns the racist attacks.”
On Bouhanni’s ban, the governing body added: “The UCI 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.”
Alex is the 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 and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.