Hand injury caused by fight forces Nacer Bouhanni out of Tour de France

A hand injury suffered in a fight with a drunken hotel guest at the weekend will keep Nacer Bouhanni out of the Tour de France

(Image credit: Watson)

Wildcard team Cofidis's hopes of success in the Tour de France suffered a huge blow on Wednesday morning when it was revealed that Nacer Bouhanni would miss the race with a hand injury.

The French sprinter reportedly injured his right hand when he punched a drunken hotel guest after an altercation ahead of the National Championships on Sunday.

Bouhanni was taken to hospital for treatment, but according to the team his injuries were not sufficiently treated and the 25-year-old required surgery on Tuesday.

Given that the French team was built around Bouhanni, with a strong lead-out train ready to work for the sometimes volatile rider on the flat stages, Bouhanni's absence will cause a few headaches.

He will be replaced by Nicolas Edet - a climber, who will join the likes of Daniel Navarro and Arnold Jeannesson in targeting stage wins in the mountains.

Geoffrey Soupe is likely to take over the sprint duties but probably won't be a threat to the big-name fast men.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.