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No penalties come from Criterium du Dauphine sprint, but riders call foul

Nacer Bouhanni salutes Muhammad Ali after winning stage 1 at Criterium du Dauphine

Nacer Bouhanni salutes Muhammad Ali after winning stage 1 at Criterium du Dauphine (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Although the UCI commissaires at the Criterium du Dauphine did not see fit to penalise any riders involved in the chaotic lead out for the stage 1 sprint, where repeated head butts and an extremely physical battle for position were broadcast to the world on television, multiple riders voiced their concern on Twitter.

The melees occurred when the Katusha and Cofidis trains lined up for their respective sprinter, Alexander Kristoff for Katusha and eventual stage winner Nacer Bouhanni for Cofidis.

“There was a fight with me and Bouhanni to get the wheel of my teammate Jacopo Guarnieri," said Kristoff, who finished 11th after nearing going down when he touched wheels with his lead-out man. "Bouhanni was fighting with me, but I managed to get the wheel."

At least two headbutts came from the Cofidis sprint train, and at least one was directed the other way. Another Katusha head nudge, this time on an Orica-GreenEdge rider, nearly sent defending champion Chris Froome to the tarmac.

FairPlay sprint @dauphine ????

By the way I didn't mention any riders but @Mark_Renshaw had to leave @LeTour for doing the same what 3 other riders did today.

I wonder if @BouhanniNacer &@TeamCOFIDIS are ashamed if they look at the footage of today final...sorry, but that's too much #cyclingisntboxing