Cofidis sprinter Nacer Bouhanni was fined 100 Swiss Francs for a sticky bottle incident on stage three of the Vuelta a España, just a day after Vincenzo Nibali was thrown out of the race for holding on to his team car.
While Nibali's actions were more blatant - holding onto his team car to help him get back to the main group after a crash - Bouhanni and his sports director took a reported 12 seconds to hand over a bottle, all while the driver put his foot on the accelerator.
The Frenchman had gone down in a hard crash on a roundabout, which also took down Tinkoff-Saxo's Daniele Bennati, and took a little assistance to get back onto the main group.
Once back in the pack he managed to get himself in position for the final sprint, finishing a close second to Peter Sagan on the line in Malaga.
“I was angry at the finish because I’d made a huge effort to get back on after the crash and that affected the result. I was 1-30 behind but my teammates waited for me and did a great job. Unfortunately we paid for it in the finale,” he explained to L'Equipe about his post-stage reaction.
“I’ve had enough crashes for now though…I wasn’t feeling 100% during the stage after my other crash buy to lose by just a dozen centimetres makes me angry.”
A small financial fine is a common punishment for a sticky bottle infringement in a race, with some riders hit with a small time penalty as well.
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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.
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