Rival sprinter requires surgery after clashing with Nacer Bouhanni in bunch sprint

Anthony Maldonado suffers nasty crash on stage two of the Tour de l'Ain

Nacer Bouhanni wins stage one of the Critèrium du Dauphiné
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Nacer Bouhanni has found himself in the midst of another controversy after clashing with rival sprinter Anthony Maldonado on stage two of the Tour de l'Ain.

Photos of the incident posted on Twitter (opens in new tab) appeared to show Bouhanni, who won the stage,  with his elbow pointed out as Maldonado crashed into the barriers on his right-hand side.

>>> 'He doesn't like me, I don't like him': FDJ rider sorry for using foul language, but remains critical of Bouhanni

The Cofidis rider was not punished for the incident, with Maldonado's HP BTP-Auber93 appealing for photos of the crash on social media.

The team then published three photos that showed Maldonado crashing - his helmet coming off with the impact - with the caption "we'll let you make your own decision. Ours is clear", a tweet which was later deleted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTHquC6MS_8

Maldonado was taken to hospital after the crash, where he received surgery under general anaesthetic as he's wounds were cleaned and stitched up.

Bouhanni has found himself at the centre of a number of controversies over the years, most recently at the Tour de France where he appeared to punch Quick-Step Floors rider Jack Bauer.

The Tour de l'Ain continues on Friday with a mountainous stage which should see Bouhanni lose his yellow jersey.

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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.