Team Sky's Gianni Moscon has been banned for five weeks by the UCI for hitting Fortuneo-Samsic rider Elie Gesbert during Stage 15 of last month's Tour de France.
The Italian was ejected from the race the same evening for "particularly serious aggression" and Team Sky said at the time that it would decide what action it would take against the rider following the conclusion of the Tour de France.
There was some speculation that Moscon's future with Team Sky might be in doubt, with the 24-year-old receiving a formal warning from the team after he was suspended for six weeks last year after racially abusing the FDJ rider Kevin Reza.
However, today Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said the team would seek to help Moscon "move forward" from the latest controversy surrounding him.
“We accept the UCI’s decision to suspend Gianni for a five-week period," Brailsford said.
“This incident obviously happened during one of the most challenging races the team has ever faced. We are confident that Gianni truly regrets his actions and has learnt from this episode.
“We have a duty of care to all our riders which we take extremely seriously. Gianni is still a relatively young rider at the start of his career and we will continue to give him the help and support he needs to learn, develop and move forward from this.”
Moscon said: “I accept the suspension given to me by the UCI. I reacted in the heat of the moment and it was never my intention to hit the rider."
Video of the incident was inconclusive as to whether Moscon had actuually made contact with Gesbert, although he insisted he had not.
"As the footage shows I didn’t make contact, but I regret my actions and I have already apologised to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo-Samsic for the incident."
His suspension will run from 8 August to 12 September 2018.
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.