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Team Sky's Gianni Moscon thrown out of Tour de France for hitting another rider (+ video)

Italian was warned about future behaviour by team last year after racially abusing FDJ's Kevin Reza...

Team Sky’s Gianni Moscon has been expelled from the Tour de France following an altercation with another rider. The news comes as a blow to Team Sky’s overall challenge for the race, and also calls into question the Italian’s future with the UCI WorldTour team.

Eurosport said that according to an unnamed senior official on the race, "The jury kicked him out because he hit a rider from the Fortuneo-Samsic team."

The incident happened inside the opening kilometre during today’s Stage 15 of the race from Millau to Carcassonne.

The official stage communique subsequently revealed that he had been ejected from the race for “particularly serious aggression,” despite representations made on his behalf by Team Sky sports directors to the race jury.

The 24-year-old from Trentino Alto Adige in north east Italy has regularly been at the centre of controversy since joining Team Sky in 2016.

He was suspended by the team for six weeks last year after admitting racially abusing the FDJ rider Kevin Reza during the Tour de Romandie.

In October that year, Reza’s team mate Sebastien Reichenbach claimed that Moscon had deliberately caused him to crash at the Tre Valli Varesine race in Lombardy, although the Team Sky rider was recently cleared by the UCI.

And at last year’s UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Moscon was disqualified after it emerged he had accepted a tow from his country’s support car.

With three mountain stages to come in the Pyrenees, Moscon’s ejection from the race will be a blow to Team Sky, who are leading the race through Geraint Thomas, with defending champion Chris Froome second, 1 minute 39 seconds behind.

That two-pronged challenge coupled with the reduction of teams from nine to eight riders this year means that Thomas and Froome are left with just five team mates to help them defend their positions in the days ahead.

It remains to be seen where today’s incident leaves Moscon’s employment by Team Sky.

In a statement released by the team this evening, principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: "We support and accept the decision by the race organisers to exclude Gianni Moscon from the Tour de France.

"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that he has let himself, the Team and the race down.

"We will address this incident with Gianni once the Tour is complete and decide then if any further action should be taken.

"I would like to offer my sincere apologies to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident," he added.

Moscon subsequently issued a video apology via Team Sky.

He said: “I’m sorry for today’s incident,” Moscon said. “I totally regret my actions. I would like to personally apologise to Elie Gesbert for the incident on today’s stage.

"What happened was wrong and was a bad example coming from me to everyone. I want to publicly apologise for what happened to my teammates, everyone involved in Team Sky, and everyone involved in the Tour de France.

"I make no excuse for it, I accept the decision of the race organisers. I let myself down really badly, as well as my teammates, and I’m really sorry for that.”

 

 

Simon joined road.cc 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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12 comments

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ziadvanbeek | 5 years ago
0 likes

I won't choose sides or defend here but possibly that French rider (the "victim") uttered some provocative words about Sky/Froome that set Moscon off. That does not justify, but I'm convinced there is a side to this story that we don't read about.

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pockstone replied to ziadvanbeek | 5 years ago
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ziadvanbeek wrote:

I won't choose sides or defend here but possibly that French rider (the "victim") uttered some provocative words about Sky/Froome that set Moscon off. That does not justify, but I'm convinced there is a side to this story that we don't read about.

I think it unlikely that Moscon (despite his previous form) would have lashed out like this without provocation. Do the riders have 2 way radio? Is there any audio of what led to this?

Also presumably no helicopter footage available.  Otherwise we would have seen it. No?

 

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SteveAustin | 5 years ago
0 likes

didnt look like a "hit" to me. not even sure it was a "close pass"

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Pitbull Steelers | 5 years ago
1 like

I have seen the video of it and the official comunique said he raised his fist whereas others say he hit him. The video looks like he didn't make any contact so unless there's other footage showing him connecting with the rider i think the decision is a bit harsh considering there's incidents where the riders just get bollocked or fined.

Moscon is a hot head and there is no need for his behaviour but i wonder if it wasn't a Sky rider and the "victim" wasn't French whether we would have had the same outcome.......sad

Regardless though, when there is uproar over fans behaviour, the riders should not result in this conduct. 

 

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RobD | 5 years ago
1 like

It seems a bit stupid, knowing that your team is going to be the most scrutinised at the race, and especially when you're already on a warning for past behaviour, I guess it's a heat of the moment thing and he must have a bit of a temper, but still no excuse.

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CXR94Di2 | 5 years ago
1 like

There will of been a disagreement, but that is no reason to hit another rider.  Well done ASO, now all you need to do is fine and ban those spectators who assault riders.

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Hypoxic | 5 years ago
0 likes

He sounds like a really nice guy!

 

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Gizzard | 5 years ago
0 likes

I have seen the suggestion made elsewhere that the person Moscon slapped had hold of his bike. 

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Welsh boy | 5 years ago
2 likes

Rearrange the following into a well known phrase which describes Moscon: Head. Knob. 

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handlebarcam | 5 years ago
1 like

This'll cut down on the booing.

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dreamlx10 | 6 years ago
4 likes

Maybe the other rider tried to steal his inhaler ?

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vonhelmet replied to dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
13 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:

Maybe the other rider tried to steal his inhaler ?

Yawn.

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