• Sky's Gianni Moscon was kicked off the Tour de France after an altercation with Fortuneo Samsic rider Elie Gesbert in the opening kilometre of Stage 15 (Getty)Source: Getty
Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) has received a five-week ban from the UCI disciplinary commission for throwing a punch at Elie Gesbert during Stage 15 of the Tour de France.
Cycling Central

9 Aug 2018 - 12:01 PM 

Moscon accepted the decision of the disciplinary commission. 

“I accept the suspension given to me by the UCI. I reacted in the heat of the moment and it was never my intention to hit the rider. As the footage shows I didn’t make contact, but I regret my actions and I have already apologised to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for the incident."

Team Sky have opted not to sack the controversial Italian, despite having said after previous incidents that any repeat would result in his contract being terminated. 

Team Sky Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “We accept the UCI’s decision to suspend Gianni for a five-week period. 

“This incident obviously happened during one of the most challenging races the team has ever faced. We are confident that Gianni truly regrets his actions and has learnt from this episode.

“We have a duty of care to all our riders which we take extremely seriously. Gianni is still a relatively young rider at the start of his career and we will continue to give him the help and support he needs to learn, develop and move forward from this.”

It's not the first such incident involving the troubled Italian. In June, the UCI cleared him of allegedly causing a crash which resulted in Groupama FDJ's Sébastien Reichenbach fracturing an elbow at a race in October 2017.

Sky suspended the rider for six weeks in May 2017 following a racist slur hurled at Groupama FDJ's Kevin Reza which resulted in a fight after a stage at the Tour de Romandie.

At that time, the team said in an official statement "Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behaviour and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract."

He also was disqualified from his 29th place at the 2017 road world championships in Bergen after he was caught by a moto camera taking a tow from his team's car after crashing in the final 35 kilometres.