FDJ sidelines Bouhanni in response to French interview

Comments in L’Équipe infuriate team boss Marc Madiot

Nacer Bouhanni will not race again in the colours of FDJ.fr due to the fall-out from an interview he gave to L’Équipe Magazine.

In the interview, which appeared on Saturday, the 24-year-old spoke bluntly of his dissatisfaction at certain events that transpired during the 2014 season including missing out on selection for Milan-San Remo and the Tour de France.

Those disappointments precipitated Bouhanni’s switch to Cofidis in 2015, but he was set to race the remainder of the season as normal with FDJ.fr. He was duly selected for the Vuelta a España, where he won two stages, but he withdrew on stage 14 in order to turn his attentions to the world championships road race.

Speaking to Cyclingnews in Jerez on the eve of the Vuelta, Bouhanni said that the Spanish race was going to be his last with FDJ.fr, although that plan changed when he was named in the pre-selection for France world championships team.

Using coach Jacques Decrion – who also moves to Cofidis next year – as an intermediary, Bouhanni received permission from FDJ.fr management to abandon the Vuelta a week early and line up at the Tour du Doubs and GP d’Isbergues as he built towards the Worlds.

However, FDJ.fr manager Marc Madiot was angered by the contents of the interview and has pulled Bouhanni from the line-up for the rest of his contract.

“I wasn’t happy. I told him that from the moment he wasn’t happy on the team, I wouldn’t pick him for races any more and his place would be taken by somebody who was happy,” Madiot told L’Équipe on Thursday.

The newspaper reports that French national coach Bernard Bourreau has appealed to Madiot to allow Bouhanni to race in the build-up to the Worlds, but the FDJ manager will not back down on his decision.

“I wanted to race the Tour du Doubs and Isbergues but they squeezed me out,” Bouhanni told L’Équipe. “I won’t be doing Paris-Tours either. For me, it’s finished after the Worlds.”

Ironically, Bouhanni had praised FDJ’s willingness to select him for the Vuelta when he spoke to Cyclingnews on the race, although at that point he already confirmed that he would not be in the line-up for Paris-Tours.

"No, it's not been difficult at all, they've been very straight and correct with me about that," Bouhanni said. "My race programme hasn't changed because of the transfer, it's the same as it was always going to be if I didn't go to the Tour.”

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