Nacer Bouhanni has been forced out of the 2017 Tour of California with the Cofidis sprinter still suffering the effects of his Tour de Yorkshire crash. Bouhanni was heavily concussed in the stage 3 crash, a day after winning the Harrogate stage. Prior to his Yorkshire success, Bouhanni won Danilith-Nokere Koerse and Paris-Camembert and has also finished on the podium at Scheldeprijs and GP de Denain.
Bouhanni was set to make his debut at the Tour of California in what would have been his first return to North American racing after the 2015 Worlds where he was the best Frenchman in 21st place.
A statement released by Bouhanni's Cofidis team explained the decision making process behind his removal from the California squad.
"Fallen last Sunday on the roads of the Yorkshire Tour, he is not sufficiently recovered from his fall and the resulting traumatic brain injury," read the statement regarding Bouhanni. "Priority is given to Nacer's health and the date of his resumption of competition will only be fixed once he has fully recovered from the accident.
The Cofidis team would like to thank the organization of the Tour de Californie for its invitation and is calling for an understanding of its sprinter's package. The Cofidis team also thanks the medical service of ASO, organizer of the Tour of Yorkshire, as well as the hospital of Sheffield, for the care of Nacer following its fall."
Luis Angel Mate will race the Tour of California for Cofidis with the remaining riders to be confirmed ahead of the May 14 start in Sacramento.