Nacer Bouhanni's Cofidis teammates took exception to a finishing-straight crash during stage 2 of Tour du Poitou-Charentes that may have led to the French sprinter's losing the overall lead, and a brief finishing-straight pushing match led to sanctions against two riders.
Video of the scuffle shows Nacer Bouhanni's younger brother, Rayane, 20, grabbing hold of Kragh Andersen and spinning the Danish rider around as the two waited behind a pile-up that occurred with about 150 metres to go. The 24-year-old Danish rider reacts angrily, dismounting his bike as Rayane Bouhanni does the same. Before the two riders could face off, however, Laporte rides up on his bike and appears, along with others on the scene, to jump between the two riders.
On Twitter, LaPorte said he was simply trying to prevent the situation from escalating into an all-out brawl. The race said through its Twitter account that Cofidis had appealed the decision to penalise its rider.
Nacer Bouhanni led the race after winning stage 1 on Tuesday, taking a four-second lead into stage 2. He was in the running for the sprint victory on stage 2 when he was hit from behind in the crash at about 150 metres. He eventually finished the stage 114th, while stage winner Tom Van Asbroeck moved into the overall lead based on time bonuses. Bouhanni is now second overall.
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