Tour de France Expel Team Sky's Gianni Moscon for Punching Elie Gesbert

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2018

Great Britain's Team Sky cycling team rider, Italy's Gianni Moscon rides during the 15th stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, between Millau and Carcassonne on July 22, 2018. - Italian Gianni Moscon, a Team Sky teammate of defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome, was thrown off the race on July 22 after an altercation with a fellow racer, 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 in Millau. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon has been expelled from the 2018 Tour de France after TV images showed him throwing a punch at Elie Gesbert, a rider from the Fortuneo-Samsic team.

Per Cycling News, race officials and Team Sky reviewed footage of the incident after the conclusion of Sunday's stage. News of his disqualification became official later in the evening.

Tout Le Sport shared footage of the incident:

Tout Le Sport @toutlesport

Gianni Moscon exclu du #TDF2018 après avoir frappé un coureur Fortuneo ! https://t.co/JzwOi5l8To

According to the report, the Tour de France commissaires used an article in the UCI regulations to come to their decision, citing "acts of violence among riders."

In a statement, Sky's team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said they will handle the matter after the Tour:

"Gianni is desperately disappointed in his behaviour 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 to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo Samsic for this unacceptable incident."

Video footage showed Moscon turn and strike a blow in the direction of Gesbert as the two rode in the peloton. The incident happened during Sunday's Stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne, where the riders will enjoy a rest day Monday.

(From R) Great Britain's Team Sky cycling team teammates, Great Britain's Christopher Froome, Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski, Netherlands' Wout Poels, Great Britain's Luke Rowe, Great Britain's Geraint Thomas and Italy's Gianni Moscon ride back to their hote

Controversy has plagued the 24-year-old throughout his short career. As explained by Cycling News, he was suspended by Team Sky for six weeks last year following an incident involving Kevin Reza. He admitted to racially abusing the Frenchman during a stage of the Tour de Romandie.

He was also accused of deliberately crashing Sebastien Reichenbach during the Tre Valli Varesine, although the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence. Per Cycling News, Sky previously warned Moscon his conduct needs to change: "Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behaviour and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract."

Moscon has long been regarded as one of cycling's top young talents as a fantastic all-rounder who can shine in the one-day classics in spring and play a role in the Grand Tours.

The Italian was an important cog in the Team Sky machine, working as a domestique for Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. The duo 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.