Cofidis sprinter Nacer Bouhanni quit the Critérium du Dauphiné on stage 2 on Monday, leaving the question of his Tour de France participation up in the air. The 28-year-old Frenchman showed signs of a return to form with two top-10 finishes in sprints at the recent Tour of California, but having had to pull out of the Dauphiné so early in the race, before having the chance to test himself against the other sprinters on what will likely be a bunch sprint on Tuesday's third stage from Le Puy-en-Velay to Riom, may affect his chances of gaining selection for the Cofidis Tour squad. "They started giving it everything on the day's first climb, and I never managed to catch up again," Bouhanni told L'Equipe after stage 2 of the Dauphiné on Monday. "I tried to get back with the help of [teammate] Geoffrey Soupe in a group of eight riders.ADVERTISEMENT "I needed to try to get through the first two days," he continued, with the sprinters' first real opportunity still to come on Tuesday. "It's over. My morale's not great, and I don't really know what else to say." Bouhanni has had a troubled past couple of seasons at Cofidis, having often failed to see eye-to-eye with team manager Cédric Vasseur, who joined the outfit ahead of the 2018 season. Bouhanni was overlooked for a Tour place last July, with former lead-out man Christophe Laporte instead handed the main sprinter's role. More recently, tests ahead of the Tour of California revealed, Bouhanni said, that he was suffering from both physical and mental fatigue due to magnesium deficiency.
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