Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) was quickly stripped of his podium finish at Cholet-Pays de la Loire for dangerous riding during the sprint, but the Frenchman faces further punishment after the UCI opened disciplinary proceedings on Monday.
Bouhanni deviated from his sprinting line on Sunday, veering left and making contact with Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), who was forced into the barriers.
Stewart managed to avoid crashing but had to stop pedaling and crossed the line in 29th place. He later called out Bouhanni, posting a video of the incident and accusing him of having 'no brain cells'.
On Monday, the UCI, whose commissaires relegated Bouhanni to the back of the bunch at the time, announced it had referred the incident to its Disciplinary Commission.
"The UCI firmly condemns the dangerous conduct of the rider Nacer Bouhanni," read the statement, adding that the UCI will "demand the imposition of sanctions that are appropriate to the seriousness of this action."
The UCI issued a similar statement when Dylan Groenewegen deviated from his line last year's Tour de Pologne, causing Fabio Jakobsen to crash into the barriers.
Groenewegen was handed a landmark nine-month ban in November, which could come to act as a precedent in determining future sanctions for such incidents.
Jakobsen suffered life-threatening injuries and has yet to return to racing, but it has been widely argued that the finish line barriers, which collapsed on impact, and the downhill sprint that had previously been flagged as dangerous, were significant factors in the consequences of the crash.
Stewart hit the barriers on Sunday but managed to stay upright, and publicly vented his frustration with Bouhanni after an exchange beyond the line.
"Yo Nacer Bouhanni, I would ask you what you was thinking...but you clearly have no brain cells," he said, posting a video of the incident on social media.
"The ironic thing is, you told me I had 'no respect' after the finish. Here's an educational video of what 'no respect' looks like..."
Bouhanni has been involved in similar incidents before, notably suffering relegation for deviating from his line at Paris-Nice and the Hamburg Classic in 2016. The following year, he was criticised for a crash as won a stage at the Tour de l'Ain, and was sanctioned at the Tour de France for lashing out at another rider.
Neither Bouhanni nor his team have commented on Sunday's incident.
Previously, he has noted that he has "the label of 'bad boy' that sticks to my skin" and that "when I move an ear, they are just waiting to punish me for it".
Yo @BouhanniNacer I would ask you what you was thinking...but you clearly have no brain cells. The ironic thing is, you told me I had 'no respect' after the finish. Here's an educational video of what 'no respect' looks like... 😶 https://t.co/nk5Bp6lE0VMarch 28, 2021
As Features Editor, Patrick is responsible for Cyclingnews' long-form and in-depth output. Patrick joined Cyclingnews in 2015 as a staff writer after a work experience stint that included making tea and being sent to the Tour de Langkawi. Prior to that, he studied French and Spanish at university and went on to train as a journalist. Rides his bike to work but more comfortable on a football pitch.
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