August 8, 2018 / 1:17 PM / 3 months ago

Cycling - Team Sky's Moscon gets five-week ban for taking a swing at rival

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - UCI Road World Championships - Men Elite Individual Time Trial - Bergen, Norway - September 20, 2017 - Gianni Moscon of Italy competes. NTB Scanpix/Marit Hommedal via REUTERS

(Reuters) - The International Cycling Union (UCI) has suspended Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon for five weeks and disqualified him from last month’s Tour de France for hitting out at another rider.

The Italian was kicked off the Tour on July 22 for appearing to swing an arm at Elie Gesbert from the French Fortuneo-Samsic team during the 15th stage of the race.

“Mr Moscon accepted his responsibility for the incident and will serve a period of suspension of five weeks starting from Aug. 8 to Sept. 12, 2018,” the UCI said in a on Wednesday.

Moscon expressed regret over the incident and said he accepted the suspension.

“I reacted in the heat of the moment and it was never my intention to hit the rider,” the 24-year-old said.

“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.”

The one-day race specialist was also accused of forcing another rider to crash last year before being cleared of wrongdoing by the UCI.

He was suspended by Sky for six weeks for a racist slur against a French rider last year.

Sky won their sixth Tour de France title in seven years last month, when Geraint Thomas sealed victory ahead of Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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