Eight and a half months after Gianni Moscon was accused of deliberately causing Groupama-FDJ rider Sébastien Reichenbach to crash in a race in Italy, a disciplinary case taken against Moscon by the UCI has been dropped due to lack of evidence.
Moscon’s Sky team has issued a statement claiming that he has been absolved. However CyclingTips understands that this is overstating the case, and that the UCI’s Disciplinary Commission was not able to determine innocence in the incident.
“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,” said Team Sky in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.”
CyclingTips understands that the Commission had concerns about the circumstances of Reichenbach’s crash, believing that Moscon was undisputedly involved in the matter. However contrasting statements from those who saw the crash plus a lack of video and photographic evidence meant that proving deliberate intent was impossible.
CyclingTips also understands that the commission felt that the rider could have behaved differently, and that the crash would not otherwise have happened.
Speaking last October, Groupama-FDJ directly blamed Moscon for Reichenbach’s fall in the Tre Valli Varesine race.
The Swiss rider told Le Nouvelliste that he would take the matter to the police. “I will file a complaint against Gianni Moscon because he voluntarily threw me to the ground.
“It was deliberate. Several riders saw the circumstances and are ready to testify in my favour. He deliberately threw himself at me. On a descent, the accident could have had even more serious consequences. My team, FDJ, encouraged me to file a complaint. They will support me.”
The duo had history: in April 2016 Moscon racially abused the black Groupama-FDJ rider Kevin Reza, and was later given a six week suspension by Team Sky. Reichenbach referred to the incident on Twitter, saying that he was “shocked to hear imbeciles still use racist insults in the pro peloton. You are a shame for our sport.”
He suggested that his fall in the Tre Valli Varesine was an act of retribution by Moscon.
The Italian denied any involvement. “We were on a section of rough road and Reichenbach’s hands slipped from his handlebars. I’ve never spoken to him in my life,” he said.
In addition to his six week suspension from Team Sky last year, Moscon was also disqualified from the world road race championships after taking an illegal tow from the Italian team car.
On Wednesday Team Sky said it was pleased that he would not be sanctioned.
“He is a very talented young bike rider who will have much to contribute to the team over the coming months and years,” it said.
Groupama-FDJ is yet to respond to today’s news.