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Moscon felt 'sacrificed' by Team Sky following Tour de France ejection

Joe Robinson
14 Sep 2018

Italian believes he did nothing wrong following striking incident at Tour de France

Gianni Moscon seems set to continue his role of pantomime villain of the professional peloton after telling Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that he felt 'sacrificed' by Team Sky after being booted from the Tour de France

The Italian was immediately disqualified and handed a five-week ban by the UCI after striking Fortuneo-Samsic rider Elie Gesbert on Stage 15 of this year's Tour. 

Despite releasing a subsequent video apologising for the event, Moscon has now told Italian press that he 'was not at fault' and that his team 'sacrificed' his place in the race in order to defend the yellow jersey.

In an interview with Gazzetta, Moscon commented: 'Straight after the Tour, I didn't like the attitude of the team too much. I had the impression that they had 'sacrificed' me even though I wasn't at fault.

'But I've reflected on it. I don't think they could have done otherwise, and the Tour was there to be won.' 

In an attempt to reverse his bad boy reputation, Moscon also referred to an incident with Stefan Kung (BMC Racing) at Tirreno-Adriatico in which he was the recipient of alleged violent conduct, rather than the instigator.

'At Tirreno-Adriatico Küng punched me in the back. I was keeping my team up front, he wanted to pass… I took the blow but I stayed quiet. At the Tour, I didn’t even brush against him (Gesbert)… They make me laugh,' commented Moscon.

'But I just do what I like doing, I'll train and I'll ride my bike for as long as I don’t get bored. And I'm paid to do it too. Everyone else can do what they want.'

To divide opinion even further, the Italian also states that the UCI 'wanted to demonstrate that even Sky could be punished' following Chris Froome's acquittal for an Adverse Analytical Finding for salbutamol just days before the Tour. 

The 24-year-old returns to racing tomorrow at the one-day Coppa Agostoni race in his native Italy before heading to the World Championships later in the month as he looks to bury the controversial incidents that have traced his short career in the WorldTour peloton.

In the 2017 Tour de Romandie, Moscon was found guilty of racially abusing Kevin Reza, riding for FDJ at the time. He was handed a formal written warning and given a six-week ban by his team. 

Then Moscon was then accused by Sebastien Reichenbach, also of FDJ, of deliberately causing a crash at the Tre Valli Varesine. The UCI eventually cleared the rider of any wrongdoing, stating that it would not continue investigating the matter.

To round things off, Moscon was also ejected from the 2017 World Championships road race after illegally taking a tow from his Italian team car.