“I Became a Shadow of Myself”—33-Year-Old French Cyclist Retires After Recovering From a Horrific Crash Last Year

Published 10/04/2023, 2:21 PM EDT

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All good things must come to an end, especially in illustrious careers. We have seen some brilliant athletes take the pitch in even the most recent years, and it is a tragic guarantee that these careers will not go on forever. Today, we will be discussing one of many such extraordinary careers. Nacer Bouhanni has just declared that he will soon retire from his splendid professional cyclist career.

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Bouhanni has long been struggling to reach his once-incredible heights as a professional but is falling short after a failed comeback following his nightmare crash in 2022. Bouhanni, an Arkéa-Samsic rider, had won 70 in his career. However, in April 2022, he crashed at the Tour of Turkey, fracturing his first cervical vertebrae and finishing his season just as it was about to kick off.

Bouhanni’s career’s pinnacles and setbacks

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While Bouhanni did his utmost to return after his neck injury as the 2023 season began, he couldn’t deliver. The sprinter had the worst season of his career, with one podium finish to show for his efforts. “I became a shadow of myself,” said Bouhanni in an Instagram post announcing his retirement. “I fought body and soul to try to get back to my level in vain. Life decided differently,” he added.

Bouhanni has spent his career in a trio of French teams – Francaise des Jeu, Cofidis, and Arkéa-Samsic. Bouhanni’s career has been remarkable, with three stage wins at both, the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia. The most prolific years of his career came from 2013 to 2016. He delivered a victory tally of 11 for four seasons consecutively during this period.

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Despite his illustrious career, Bouhanni faced his fair share of lows during his tenure. Outside of his 2022 crash and subsequent return, he has had standout incidents at his lowest points. One example is when Bouhanni bumped Jake Stewart into the barriers, causing him to get disqualified almost immediately.

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What’s next for Bouhanni?

“I started cycling at age 6, and it quickly became a passion,” Bouhanni wrote on Instagram. The sprinter added, “70 victories, ups, downs, beautiful and not so beautiful encounters, joys, disappointments, but I’ll keep only the best.” Bouhanni has lived out one of the most interesting tenures. He has won multiple honors and will go down as one of the sport’s top journeymen.

He has seen his share of dark days during his career, serving suspensions and falling short of his goals. However, his longevity is always something that needs to be respected and upheld as the standard for an elite athlete’s expectations. We wish Bouhanni the very best as his career winds up. We cannot wait to see what’s next for the veteran sprinter.

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Written by:

Kenneth Soares

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Kenneth Soares is a WWE writer EssentiallySports with a penchant for all things sports. He has previously worked in world news, with a focus on US events and geopolitical stories. Kenneth's favorite superstars include Edge, Rey Mysterio and AEW star MJF.
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