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UCI clears Sky’s Gianni Moscon of mid-race assault

Moscon was accused of pushing Sébastien Reichenbach off his bike during last year's Tre Valli Varesine.

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Italian Gianni Moscon has a green light to help Chris Froome in the Tour de France now that the UCI’s disciplinary commission cleared him over allegations that he assaulted another cyclist.

The 24-year-old helped Team Sky’s Froome win the Vuelta a España in 2017. He is one of the top candidates on a short list for the Tour de France, which starts July 7 in Vendée.

Moscon faced a six- to 12-month suspension over claims that he pushed Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ) in the Tre Valli Varesine on October 3, 2017. The Swiss cyclist broke his elbow and fractured his hip in the subsequent fall.

The UCI commission, however, acquitted Moscon on Tuesday with no evidence to back Reichenbach’s claims.

“Team Sky welcomes the decision by the UCI to dismiss the case against Gianni Moscon,” the team said in a statement.

“It has been a lengthy process during which an independent panel heard evidence from all parties and found that there was not a case to answer.These were serious allegations which Gianni and the team have always strongly contested.

“We back Gianni and he has our full support. We are pleased he can now get on with racing with a line now drawn under this episode. He is a very talented young bike rider who will have much to contribute to the team over the coming months and years.”

The episode came on the heels of another controversy involving Moscon and Reichenbach’s former teammate Kévin Reza. Team Sky sidelined Moscon after he reportedly hurled racial slurs toward Reza at the 2017 Tour de Romandie. The team also sent him to a diversity awareness course.

Reichenbach argued that the alleged assault at the Tre Valli was in retaliation to his Twitter post that accused Moscon of saying “racist slurs” at Reza.

“He deliberately threw me to the ground,” Reichenbach said at the time. “And several riders who were at the scene saw it.”

Moscon responded, “We were on a section of rough road and Reichenbach’s hands slipped from his handlebars.”

The two were part of a hearing in front of the UCI’s disciplinary commission on April 9. Moscon stayed for 11 hours.

Moscon’s teammate Kenny Elissonde, who raced for the FDJ franchise for five years before joining Sky in 2017, testified on Moscon’s behalf. Nicola Gaffurini (Sangemini-MG.Kvis) and Marco Zamparella (Amore & Vita-Prodir) also spoke at the hearing.

The commission had little to go on, since there was no video footage of the alleged assault.

Moscon is now free to race the Tour. He placed fifth in the 2017 Paris-Roubaix, third in the 2017 Giro di Lombardia, and helped Froome win the Vuelta a España.