A 'dangerous mistake' — Juan Sebastián Molano disqualified from Critérium du Dauphiné for hitting Hugo Page

Colombian sprinted thrown out of race after striking Frenchman on camera late on Friday's stage

Juan Sebastián Molano
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Juan Sebastián Molano has been thrown out of the Critérium du Dauphiné after hitting another rider late on Friday's stage six.

The UAE Team Emirates sprinter was caught by the helicopter camera exchanging angry words with Hugo Page (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), before pushing him and then raising his hand from his bars to strike the Frenchman on the helmet.

The incident continued after the stage, as footage showed the pair remonstrating outside the Lotto-Soudal bus, with Molano once again hitting Page on the head, although this appeared to be more of a demonstration.

Shortly after the finish, and after his final altercation with Page, the 27-year-old was summoned to the UCI commissaire's truck, where he was able to mount a defence, but was disqualified from the race.

While it would be unlikely that the Colombian sprinter would have had any great opportunities in the final two Alpine days, it remains an ignominious end for him, to be sent home early from the race solely through his own actions.

"On the run-in to the finish it was fast and tense and in the heat of the moment I made a dangerous mistake," Molano said in a UAE team statement released after the stage.

"I'd like to apologise to Hugo Page and to all the riders for what happened," he continued.

"I understand why I was disqualified and can only say that I regret it and learn from it."

The pair are understood to have clashed earlier in the Dauphiné, and then again earlier on stage six, with both alleging that they were cut up by the other in the bunch.

Page, 20, has had an impressive race, finishing in the top five twice on stages, and eighth on another. As a result, he sits third in the points competition, and was wearing the green jersey on behalf of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on Friday.

Molano finished seventh on stage six, but this result was expunged from the record due to his disqualification. The Colombian finished tenth on Thursday, his best result at the race.

The day was won by Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies), as the breakaway beat the peloton to the finish line; Molano actually won the sprint behind, which might have been more awkward for the race organisers had it been the race for first.

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