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Jake Stewart suffers broken hand after Bouhanni collision

Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Groupama-FDJ rider Jake Stewart will be forced to miss the Tour of Flanders this weekend after suffering a fracture to his left hand at Sunday's Cholet-Pays de la Loire.

The promising 21-year-old was sprinting for a top spot at the end of the French one-day race but was edged into the barriers by Arkéa-Samsic's Nacer Bouhanni and ended up crossing the line in 29th.

Stewart has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the injury – a fractured second metacarpal – was caused as a direct result of the clash with Bouhanni.

"We thought and was hoping that it was just superficial, but this morning [an] X-ray showed a fractured second metacarpal after Sunday's Cholet-Pays de la Loire," Stewart wrote on Twitter.

"Gutted to say the least to be missing De Ronde this week, but full focus now for recovering and getting back on the bike."

Stewart, riding his first full year in the pro ranks after racing for both Groupama-FDJ's Continental and WorldTour teams last year, has enjoyed a strong start to 2021. He caught the eye with a second-place finish at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and also took fourth overall at the Étoile de Bessèges and sixth at the Bredene Koksijde Classic.

Bouhanni, meanwhile, is set to face UCI disciplinary action for his role in the finish at Cholet-Pays de la Loire. The Frenchman was swiftly stripped of his third-place finish and was been referred to the UCI Disciplinary Commission by commissaires at the race.

"The UCI firmly condemns the dangerous conduct of the rider Nacer Bouhanni," read a statement issued by the UCI, adding that they "demand the imposition of sanctions that are appropriate to the seriousness of this action."

Bouhanni has since apologised for the move, claiming that it was unintentional. 

"I’m sorry for Jake Stewart,” Bouhanni said. “The sprint went like this: I see Elia Viviani open up and I want to take his wheel. I admit that my error was changing my line to go and get on his wheel.

"I don’t see Jake Stewart at that moment. I just wanted to take the slipstream because it was a head-cross wind from the right. In no way was it intentional."

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Daniel joined Cyclingnews as staff writer in August 2019 after working as a freelance journalist for seven years, including time spent working for Cyclingnews and sister magazine, Procycling.