French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni has been handed an 200CHF (£161) fine and deducted a minute in the Tour de France’s general classification standings after video footage appeared to show him punching a Quick-Step Floors rider during stage 10.
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The Cofidis rider can be seen from an aerial shot having a discussion in the peloton in the closing stages of the race to Bergerac with an as yet unidentified member of the Quick-Step team. Bouhanni then strikes the rider with the right of his hand, although it is not clear if he made contact with the rider.
Responding, the Quick-Step rider leans in towards Bouhanni but doesn’t retaliate further. Marcel Kittel, the green jersey wearer and eventual winner of the stage, is just behind Bouhanni but neither he nor anyone else seemed raised the incident.
The race jury are examined the footage but decided against disqualifying the rider, the punishment handed given to Peter Sagan after stage four for his crash with Mark Cavendish.
Instead, Bouhanni will have to pay a fine that has not been made public and will have a minute deducted from his GC time; however, critics will argue that this is a worthless punishment given that he is a sprinter.
Bouhanni, a maverick rider who boxes in the off-season and has said he will take up boxing as a professional sport in his 30s, has form for punching: last June he punched a wedding guest at a hotel, injuring his hand and thus missing the Tour.
Bouhanni’s best result so far this Tour has been fourth place on stage four; he finished sixth on stage 10.