French sprinter facing competition from Demare at FDJ.fr
Nacer Bouhanni has vented his disappointment at not being selected for FDJ.fr's squad for Milan-San Remo, revealing he is considering his options for the future.
The Frenchman's contract ends this season but he faces competition within the FDJ.fr team from fellow sprinter Arnaud Demare. Bouhanni won the opening stage at Paris-Nice but Demare was named as team leader for Milan-San Remo while Bouhanni was sent to ride the Cholet - Pays De Loire race in France. He quit Paris-Nice after hurting his knee but he is recovering quickly and is due to ride Criterium International at the weekend, while Demare races the Classics in Belgium.
The two French riders are set to fight for the protected sprinter role at the Tour de France. However according to the L'Equipe newspaper, Demare could have an edge on his teammate and is about to sign a new contract with FDJ.fr that will run until the end of 2016.
"I was really upset not to be selected," Bouhanni told L'Equipe. "I don't understand why because my race program had been established a while back. It was team decision. I've tried not to think about it too much but Milan-San Remo was a real goal for me. It's a race that I have always dreamt about but I didn’t get a chance to ride it."
Bouhanni has won 20 races during his four-year professional career but has yet to ride the Tour de France. He is desperate to make his Grand Boucle debut this year.
"I hope so. Especially because it goes past my home area in the Vosges," he said.
After missing out on selection for Milan-San Remo, Bouhanni is keen to talk about his own future with FDJ.fr team manager Marc Madiot and hinted that several other teams have already approached him with interesting offers.
"I haven't spoken (to Madiot) yet. But I hope to do so soon and especially before the Tour. I want to understand the conditions, the objectives and the programmes for the future," he said.
"Quite a few teams have shown interest. I've had several propositions and I'm going to look at them. For now I feel good at FDJ.fr and we'll see what the management proposes."
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