Bouhanni has not competed since the French national championships at the end of June, when he injured his hand in a confrontation with a 'drunk' hotel guest on the eve of the race, an altercation that would have serious repercussions for Bouhanni’s season. According to Bouhanni, he went to confront guests in a hotel room adjacent to the one that he was sharing with his brother Rayane about excessive noise.
“Nacer asked them to stop the nuisance and was then assaulted by these alcoholic people,” a team press release said at the time.
Bouhanni injured his hand during the incident and had to go to hospital to receive stitches. He started the national championships the following day but abandoned before the finish line. His former teammate Arthur Vichot secured the national title.
Worse was to follow for Bouhanni when he had to withdraw from the Cofidis Tour de France line-up due to an infection in the injury. The team later claimed that he had not treated been treated properly in hospital after the altercation and he had to undergo a subsequent operation. Bouhanni has since filed a police complaint against the hotel guests, stating that he had ‘just tried to defend myself'.
Bouhanni’s appearance at Polynormande will be his second, after making his debut in 2015, where he finished ninth. The Belgian, Oliver Naesen claimed victory after beating Fabrice Jeandesboz and Antoine Duchesne in a three-man sprint.