Nacer Bouhanni’s mechanical problem in the final metres of Milan-San Remo left the him out of the contention for the final sprint in La Classicissima, and the sense of frustration at losing the race through no fault of his own was so great he subsequently almost opted to miss out on the Volta a Catalunya as well.
“It’s great to have this win and the Volta is a great race, but it doesn’t make up for the disappointment of San Remo,” Bouhanni said afterwards. “It’s true I considered not coming and sending my bikes back home.”
He had, he said, “barely slept for the last two days” because of the disappointment of Sanremo. “At 150 metres from the line, I couldn’t do my sprint, my chain jumped and it was all over. It was a nightmare.”
However, Bouhanni’s debut in the Volta a Catalunya could not have gone better, particularly as the stage was in no way straightforward, with a lengthy incursion into the hills prior to the bunch sprint finish. “It was a very hard finish as we saw today, but we worked well with Movistar on the last big climb,” he said. “There are maybe three or four opportunities for me in total, including tomorrow [Tuesday] and we’ll work in all of them as best we can.” In the process, his pain of losing San Remo within sight of the finish may dull a little.
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