Nacer Bouhanni: ‘I almost lost my sight in Tour de Yorkshire crash’

Frenchman admits he continued to race without perfect eye sight, but insists he wasn't a danger to other riders.

Nacer Bouhanni wins Tour de Yorkshire 2017 stage two
(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Eight months on from a heavy fall on the third stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni has revealed how he almost lost his sight in the high-speed crash.

Bouhanni was knocked unconscious in the fall, at the time taking a few weeks off to recover from concussion, but has now revealed how the crash could have potentially had more serious long-term consequences.

"I crashed seriously at the Tour de Yorkshire late last May, and what no one else knew is that, as well as the 20 days of mandatory rest because of my head trauma, the optic nerve in my eye was damaged," the Cofidis sprinter told French website Cyclism'Actu (opens in new tab).

"That is to say, I couldn't see properly. I did not have 100% vision. And sometimes, when I was tired, I saw double. Basically, I almost lost my sight."

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Bouhanni also said that he had continued to suffer from occasional poor vision through the rest of the season, but insisted that this had not meant that he had posed a danger to other riders in races.

"Sometimes, when I was tired, I happened to see double but fortunately, it rarely happened to me in the race. Rest assured, I was not a public danger on the bike and during sprints because I did not see 100 per cent," he continued.

"I have always been vigilant and focused in the various races that I participated in this season after my accident and after this heavy fall in the Tour de Yorkshire."

Watch: Tour de France 2018 route guide

The French rider enjoyed some success through the rest of the season, picking up seven top-10 placings on stages of the Tour de France, and recording three victories in smaller French races.

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Looking forward, Bouhanni says the he has received treatment to fix the problems with his vision, and that he will be at full fitness for the start of the 2018 season.

"It has been confirmed to me that I have got my vision back to 100 per cent. Normally, according to what the doctors told me just after my fall, my recovery should have taken 12 months. So you will understand my relief to see that after only seven months, everything is finally back in order."

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.