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Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon has been expelled from the 2018 Tour de France after TV images showed him throwing a punch at Elie Gesbert, a rider from the Fortuneo-Samsic team.
Per Cycling News, race officials and Team Sky reviewed footage of the incident after the conclusion of Sunday’s stage. News of his disqualification became official later in the evening.
Tout Le Sport shared footage of the incident:
Tout Le Sport @toutlesport
Gianni Moscon exclu du #TDF2018 après avoir frappé un coureur Fortuneo ! https://t.co/JzwOi5l8To
According to the report, the Tour de France commissaires used an article in the UCI regulations to come to their decision, citing “acts of violence among riders.”
“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.”
Video footage showed Moscon turn and strike a blow in the direction of Gesbert as the two rode in the peloton. The incident happened during Sunday’s Stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne, where the riders will enjoy a rest day Monday.
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Controversy has plagued the 24-year-old throughout his short career. As explained by Cycling News, he was suspended by Team Sky for six weeks last year following an incident involving Kevin Reza. He admitted to racially abusing the Frenchman during a stage of the Tour de Romandie.
He was also accused of deliberately crashing Sebastien Reichenbach during the Tre Valli Varesine, although the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence. Per Cycling News, Sky previously warned Moscon his conduct needs to change: “Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behaviour and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract.”
Moscon has long been regarded as one of cycling’s top young talents as a fantastic all-rounder who can shine in the one-day classics in spring and play a role in the Grand Tours.
The Italian was an important cog in the Team Sky machine, working as a domestique for Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. The duo are ranked first and second in the overall standings, respectively, and will be down a team-mate for the crucial stages in the Pyrenees in the final week.