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.