It hasn't been an enjoyable Tour de France for Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).
The French sprinter struggled with his stomach since stage 3. On stage 5 he caused the bunch sprint crash when he rode into the rear wheel of Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who was coming off the front. Just before the start of stage 6 in Aix-en-Provence a downhearted Bouhanni was all bandaged up and limping towards his bike. The Frenchman didn't make it to the finish in Montpellier.
"I'm ill and I crashed," Bouhanni summarized his poor state of condition. "I left Corsica with stomach problems. I'm struggling for three days already. Yesterday's crash in the finale made things even more complicated. It's hard but part of cycling. I'm suffering a lot. My back hurts a lot, especially when I walk. I don't know how it'll be on the bike," Bouhanni said. "I'm only thinking about how I'm going to survive this stage. I'm not looking at the next stages." The Frenchman clearly realized how hard it would be. He got into troubles early on and at 90km he stepped off the bike.
The bunch crash in the final metres of the fifth stage from Cagnes-sur-mer to Marseille was caused by Bouhanni. The Frenchman felt really bad about it, also because he did the utmost to stay in the front after enjoying a miserable day.
"I crashed when I was riding in 15th position. I was too far for the sprint. I rode into somebody who had launched the sprint. I think it was a Quickstep-rider. He sat up and I didn't see him. I rode into him at 350-400m from the finish line. Once on the ground two or three riders rode into me. It's really sad because I managed to hang on after I had been riding between the cars all day long."