According to Bleacher Report, an Italian Tour de France cyclist was expelled for punching one of his opponent’s in the face.
Gianni Moscon, from Team Sky, was officially expelled from the 2018 Tour de France when images and video footage surfaced of Moscon punching an opponent in the face. Moscon’s victim was Elie Gesbert of Fortuneo-Samsic.
Cycling News reported that officials reviewed the footage and images of Team Sky’s Moscon attacking Gesbert on Sunday, and ultimately concluded that Moscon must be disqualified from the race. According to officials, the Tour de France commissaries invoked UCI regulations to expel Moscon for initiating an act of violence against a fellow rider.
Video footage from Tout Le Sport more specifically revealed that Moscon struck Gesbert while turning a corner en route in the peloton during Sunday’s Stage 15 journey from Millau to Carcassonne.
The spokesperson of Team Sky, Sir Dave Brailsford, released a statement on Sunday on the team’s behalf.
“Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behavior 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,” Brailsford continued, “to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident.”
This is not Gianni Moscon’s first violation, however. Just last year, he was suspended by his own team for shouting racial slurs at French cyclist, Kevin Reza, during the Tour de Romandie.
Additionally, Moscon was accused of purposefully crashing opponent Sebastien Reichenbach’s bike during the Tre Valli Varisine, although the case was eventually dropped because the case lacked sufficient evidence. After the incident with Reichenbach during the Tre Valli Varisine race, his team warned him that his behavior needed to change.
“Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behavior and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract.”
Moscon, who is a well-regarded and multi-talented, young cyclist, has been an important member and teammate of Team Sky, “working as a domestique for Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.”
According to the Bleacher Report, the duo of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, “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.”