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Nacer Bouhanni out of Tour de France after hand surgery

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Saint-Lô (France) (AFP)

Top French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni will miss the Tour de France after undergoing surgery on a hand injured in a fight, his Cofidis team announced Wednesday.

Bouhanni, 25, sustained the injury to his right hand in a fight the night before last week's French national championships. Cofidis said at the time that the rider had been "assaulted by drunken people".

The Cofidis team leader initially received four stitches after being taken to hospital, but has since complained of pain.

"Faced with the deteriorating situation, Nacer underwent an operation on Tuesday in Nancy," Cofidis confirmed.

"The decision was taken so as not to put the athlete's health at any risk. He now needs rest before aiming for new goals."

Bouhanni was replaced by Nicolas Edet, a climber.

"Team strategy will obviously be reoriented following Nacer's withdrawal," Cofidis said.

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