The French Cyclist Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic) has denounced that he is being the target of racist insults on social networks after starring in an unsportsmanlike maneuver on the British Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) in the final sprint of the Grand Prix Cholet-Pays de la Loire, for which he was disqualified.
“This is too much. I have been receiving hundreds of messages for eight days, it is turning into harassment, “he said in an interview with the French sports newspaper. The team Bouhanni, born in Épinal, northeast of France, and of Algerian origin. «I am not the only one who sees what is happening on social networks. Why doesn’t anyone do anything when these kinds of people constantly call us ‘pigs’ or ‘terrorists’ or say ‘go back to your dirty country, Maghreb’? ”, He added.
During the arrival to the sprint of the 43rd edition of the French race held last Sunday, March 28, Bouhanni pushed British cyclist Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) against the fences on the left side of the route, who had to brake to avoid leaving down. The International Cycling Union (UCI) “strongly” condemned the “dangerous conduct” and announced that it will impose “appropriate sanctions” on the seriousness of the incident.
The 30-year-old runner acknowledged that he has been suffering these racist insults for 25 years and that receiving them now is “like a scar that has been reopened.” “It reopened little by little with the days, and that’s what hurts. I was born in France, I love my country, I was French champion at 21, it was one of the most beautiful moments of my career when I got on the podium with La Marseillaise, “he recalled.
In addition, he noted that in the platoon “never” has been “a victim of racism in any case.” “But outside of the competition, of course I experienced some cases. My parents have always refused to talk to me about racism to protect me. Since I was six years old, my father has been cycling with me; thanks to him I was able to get there, otherwise I would have left it, because I had moments of getting fed up, “he stressed. “I am proud of my name, I am proud of my origins, I am French of North African origin,” he concluded.