It was reported in Spanish publication AS that Bouhanni's penalty had been for punching his directeur sportif and then the team car. Bouhanni denied it on twitter, saying that they were trying to make him out to be 'the bad boy that I am not'. Cofidis later published a statement categorically denying the incident, saying that Bouhanni's penalty was for an illegal feed.
"The Cofidis Team formally denies the information reported in the press concerning Nacer Bouhanni. There was never a fight between our leader and Jean Luc Jonrond, his sports director during the 5th stage of La Vuelta 2018," the team wrote.
"Nacer was penalized for an irregular feed at the end of the stage yesterday, ridden under a very strong heat and at a fast pace.The Cofidis team also denies all the information about the conflicts between Nacer Bouhanni and his sports management, they are totally false. Nacer has our confidence and we rely on him."