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Nacer Bouhanni says he'll turn to boxing once cycling career ends

French sprinter plans to switch sports - which pros do you think could have a second career, and why?

Nacer Bouhanni is one of the peloton’s more pugnacious characters – his combative attitude brought him five stage wins in Grand Tours this year – but says his future lies in pugilism and plans to switch to boxing once he brings an end to his cycling career.

That’s still some way off for the 24-year-old who won three stages and the points classification in May’s Giro d’Italia then added a pair of stages in the Vuelta. According to an interview with L’Equipe, he plans to keep riding for a few years yet, then focus on the ring rather than the road.

“I’ll stop cycling at the age of 32 which will give me two years to go as far as I can in boxing,” said Bouhanni, who describes boxing as his "passion" but cycling as a "job.".

That would still leave him three decades younger than actor Mickey Rourke, who returned to the ring in Moscow at the weekend for what might very charitably be termed an exhibition bout. Well, it is the season of goodwill.

Bouhanni, who is joining Cofidis for 2015 following five seasons at, was handy with the gloves on as a teenager, and still uses boxing to help keep in shape during the close season at his club in Nouzonville, in the Ardennes department on France’s border with Belgium.

He said his time spent sparring helps his preparations for the cut and thrust of sprint finishes.

“In boxing, your pulse quickly reaches 180 beats a minute, just like in a sprint,” he revealed.

“That helps me keep in control of my emotions before releasing all my energy in the last 200 metres,” he added.

Bouhanni, who plans on riding the Tours of Qatar and Oman ahead of the Spring Classics campaign, is far from the only cyclist to have been talented at another sport.

Rebecca Romero was an Olympic medallist in rowing before taking individual pursuit gold at Beijing in 2008, while two women – Crista Ludig of Germany, and Canada’s Clara Hughes – have won medals in road cycling at the Summer Games and in speed skating at the Winter Olympics.

Dame Sarah Storey, meanwhile, has three Paralympic gold medals in cycling and three on the track, but before switching to the bike she'd already won five in the swimming pool.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of crossover between cycling and triathlon – Emma Pooley and Lance Armstrong are two names that spring immediately to mind – while 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro turned out briefly for third tier Spanish football side Coruxo FC after his cycling career came to a close.

Moving in the opposite direction was Knut Anders Fostervold, who spent 12 seasons as a footballer, including playing for his hometown club Molde against Real Madrid in the Champions League – the Spanish side won the competition that year – before switching to cycling, twice representing Norway in the World Championship Time Trial.

There are more, of course – British Cycling’s talent spotting programme, for example, identifies youngsters who are strong at sports such as athletics and may have talent on the bike – but it got us thinking; which cyclists do you think might be good at another sport, and why?

Let us know in the comments below – we don’t necessarily mean ones they already have a background in, so let your imagination guide your choice.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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darkstar01uk | 9 years ago

I know a few who have a good figure for darts...

Airzound | 9 years ago

As long as he doesn't start left hooking cyclists ……….

andyp | 9 years ago

Froome - circus knife thrower. Just put a picture of Wiggins' back on the target and he'll hit every time.

mingmong | 9 years ago

Tommy Voeckler - Gurning Horse.

DavidC replied to mingmong | 9 years ago

Tommy Voeckler - Actor.

truffy | 9 years ago

That's one way to dissuade white van man from nicking his bike.

Stumps | 9 years ago

anyone from Astana - chemist.

HalfWheeler | 9 years ago

Joaquin Rodriguez, anger management therapist.

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