Is Cofidis sprinter and boxing talent Nacer Bouhanni giving his lead-out train boxing lessons? Based on their head-butting and aggressive physical behavior at the Dauphiné, we’d have to say oui, yes, absolument.
Bouhanni has a well-earned reputation for doing whatever it takes to win a sprint. He’s been relegated and chastised and sanctioned by his peers. Not that it matters. He appears to be a hot head with a short fuse –witness his ballistic behavior at a French jewelry store earlier in the season.
Lead-out trains sometimes take after the personality of their boss man sprinter. Greipel’s Lotto-Soudal squad rolls with Germanic precision and discipline. After watching Bouhanni and the Headbutters on stage one into Saint-Vulbas, it looks like we’ve got a boxing club on wheels.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIIhH91zbDc
Pretty obvious that Bouhanni wants to win on home soil — even if the dangerous behavior almost causes rival Alexander Kristoff of Katusha to crash at high speed. Considering this is the preview for the Tour de France, what happens when the stakes and rewards are even higher? Pretty soon the UCI will have to put a referee on a rat bike and stick him at the front of the race to monitor the action and penalize the low blow and head butts.
We’re going on record saying there’s a decent probability that Bouhanni or one of his HeadButters gets thrown out of the Tour de France. The stress level at the Tour hits maximum and we’re wondering if Bouhanni has the self-control to keep his ambitions of glory from endangering the peloton. Chris Froome early went down thanks to these shenanigans.
The irony here is that Cofidis is usually invisible at the Tour de France except for the doomed early breaks. Bouhanni gives them a very high profile presence at Le Grand Shindig. Hopefully, Nasty Nacer and his squad ride more than they box.