Team Sky‘s Gianni Moscon has been disqualified from the 2018 Tour de France, with video footage showing the moment that the Italian rider took a swing at Fortuneo-Samsic rider Elie Gesbert early on Sunday’ stage.
Moscon, who has been a key domestique in a successful first two weeks of the Tour for the team that has seen Geraint Thomas take the race lead and Chris Froome sit in second, was 28th across the line on the stage, but was later disqualified by the race organisers.
The disqualification is a result of an altercation with young French rider Elie Gesbert which occurred just 800m into Sunday’s 181.5km stage through south-west France, where the Fortuneo-Samsic team say that Gesbert was “punched” by Moscon.
Footage of the incident was posted on social media on Sunday evening after news of Moscon’s disqualification broke, with the incident taking place further down the right-hand side of the bunch as Adam Yates tried to escape off the front.
The clash between Moscon and Gesbert seems to have started when Gesbert’s team leader, Warren Barguil, launched an acceleration out of the side of the bunch.
Barguil was immediately followed by riders from Cofidis and Movistar, while Moscon appears to try and move right to follow Barguil’s attack, only to find Gesbert in his way.
Briefly easing off the pedals, Moscon turns around and appears to take a swipe at Gesbert, before accelerating for a second time to close the gap to a small group of riders form on Barguil’s wheel.
Moscon finished the stage, crossing the line in 28th place, but was later disqualified after the race jury had examined footage of the incident.
In response, Team Sky principal 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.”