Carcassonne - Italian
Gianni Moscon, a Team Sky team-mate of defending Tour de France champion
Chris Froome, was thrown off the race Sunday after an altercation with a
fellow rider, officials said.
Race officials took the decision after Moscon was involved in a
fracas with a rider from the Fortuneo team shortly after the stage start
Speaking to AFP, officials said the Italian used heavy-handed tactics
when the Fortuneo team rider tried to help his team leader, Warren
Barguil, join an early breakaway in the 181.5km-long 15th stage from
Millau to Carcassonne.
Race commissaires classed the incident as a "particularly serious
aggression" and threw the 24-year-old Italian off the race shortly after
the stage, won by Denmark's Magnus Cort Nielsen of Astana.
Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said he accepted the decision to exclude Moscon.
"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour and knows that
he has let himself, the team and the race down," Brailsford said in a
"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 for this unacceptable incident."
It is not the first time Moscon, now in his third year with Sky but on his race debut, has fallen foul of officials.
Last year he was handed a suspension by Sky after racially abusing Frenchman Kevin Reza at the Tour of Romandie.
That misdemeanour earned the Italian a written warning from Team Sky,
who said at the time: "Gianni Moscon has been given a formal written
warning and suspended from racing for six weeks.
"He will also attend a diversity awareness course.
"Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behaviour and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract."
At the end of last season Moscon was also accused by Swiss rider
Sebastien Reichenbach of causing him to crash in an Italian race, an
incident for which he escaped sanctions.
Moscon finished an impressive fifth at Paris-Roubaix last year and
third in the Tour of Lombardy, before helping Froome to claim overall
victory in the 2017 Tour of Spain.