The incident was caught by an overhead camera and shared widely on social media. In the footage, the Quick-Step Floors team is along the right side of the road with around 7.2km to go, when one rider moved into the peloton slightly, bumping into Bouhanni. The Frenchman then raised his right hand off the bars and swung at him.
After the stage, the judges issued Bouhanni with a penalty of one minute in the general classification and a fine of 200 CHF, but did not relegate him from the final sprint in Bergerac, where he finished sixth behind Marcel Kittel.
It has been an otherwise anonymous Tour de France for Bouhanni, whose best sprint finish of the race has been a fourth place in Vittel.
"I wouldn't say I was involved in an incident," he said as the hosts showed Bauer a replay of the event. "I think he was trying to defend his space behind his leadout, his rider. Which any rider is going to do. I wouldn't call it an incident. It's a heat of the moment, last five kilometres of a sprint. the road doesn't automatically open up in front for a rider to win a stage. You have to create space, position... I have no problem with what happened today
"One second after it occurred, I felt a brush on my shoulder and I thought someone was tapping me on the shoulder to ask for an autograph or something. I thought, 'Who is this young girl who wants an autograph? [ laughs]. This isn't the moment'."
"I was lacking my legs," Bouhanni said. "Christophe Laporte brought me up to third place at 200 metres, I gave it the maximum, but simply I didn't have the legs. Kittel's won four but I'll just have to keep trying."