Vincenzo Nibali's domestique Javier Moreno kicked off Giro d'Italia - Road Cycling UK

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Vincenzo Nibali’s domestique Javier Moreno kicked off Giro d’Italia

Spaniard disqualified after pushing Team Sky's Diego Rosa into roadside

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) has lost a domestique after team-mate Javier Moreno was kicked off the Giro d’Italia for pushing Team Sky’s Diego Rosa into the roadside during stage four.

The two were seen exchanging angry words as the race approached Mout Etna, with it later being revealed the Spaniard had pushed the Italian – forcing him to change bikes as a result of the incident.

And race commissaires kicked Moreno out of the race, as well as handing out a 200 swiss francs fine, leaving Nibali a team-mate down for the rest of the race.

Javier Moreno has been kicked off the Giro d’Italia for pushing Team Sky’s Diego Rosa into the roadside (pic – Sirotti)

Of the 195 riders who started the Giro d’Italia, 191 riders now remain in the peloton – Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alexandre Geniez (Ag2r-La Mondiale) all having abandoned during stage four.

Bahrain-Merida issued a statement apologising for Moreno’s actions, with general manager Brent Copeland saying: ““This was an unfortunate situation which happened during a tense moment of the race, however Javier’s act is not acceptable.

“On behalf of team Bahrain-Merida we apologise to those involved.”

Moreno added: “I want to apologise for my reaction and make it clear that it was not my intention for him to crash. I apologise to him and Team Sky, as well as to my teammates and sponsors.”

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