Bouhanni won the sprint in the rain but was relegated to 27th place for deviating from his line during the sprint. Victory was awarded to Caleb Ewan (Orica-Bike Exchange).
Bouhanni suggested that due to previous incidents, the UCI commissaires were ready to relegate him for any small reason.
"Me, when I move an ear, they are just waiting to punish me for it," Bouhanni said according to L'Equipe. He added, "I believe I won."
It’s not the first time that Bouhanni has been on the opposing end of the commissaires decision. The French sprinter was bumped off the victor's podium after stage two of Paris-Nice after a coming together with Michael Matthews in the run for the line. There was no such clash in Hamburg, but Bouhanni did swerve to the right, forcing Ewan to change his line.
Cofidis directeur sportif Alain Deloeuil defended his rider, saying that the Bouhanni's deviation was not intentional.
"He had his head looking at the handlebar, the move was involuntary," Deloeuil claimed. "We should let him do his sport and do his job. Some commit more serious offences and are left alone. But with Nacer, they break down every move, and they don't give him any gifts."
If the day hadn't already been bad enough for Bouhanni, confusion with his doping control test meant that he missed his flight home. As the winner, the Frenchman was initially down to pay a visit to anti-doping following the race but following the jury decision he was told that he was no longer needed, but anti-doping officials later appeared to have changed their mind.
"There was a scramble before the doping test," explained Deloeuil. "Nacer had been drawn. He went there. Then when he was declassified, he was told that he had nothing more to do with control. And later, the UCI went to search the bus for him to finally do the test."