Cyclist thrown off Giro d'Italia for pushing a rival

Javier Moreno's push caused Diego Rosa to crash

Cyclist thrown off Giro d'Italia for pushing a rival

Picture by: Eurosport/ Twitter

A cyclist has been thrown off this year's Giro d'Italia after he was seen pushing an opponent during Tuesday's stage.

Team Bahrain-Merida's Javier Moreno was disqualified from the race for pushing Team Sky's Diego Rosa during Stage 4 to Mount Etna. Rosa crashed as a result of the incident.

"My teammates and me were all in the line coming to the final climb, Team Sky came up on the left and Rosa wanted to get onto my teammates wheel in front of me", Moreno said in a statement after his expulsion from the race.

"When he realised I was resisting, he aggravated me to which I reacted by pushing him, unfortunately causing him to crash. 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."

Moreno's removal from the race will come as a blow to team mate Vincenzo Nibali, who is also the reigning champion. Nibali has won the Giro on two occasions, and has also won the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.  

The Team Bahrain rider was in 83rd place after four stages when he was expelled. It was Moreno's second year in a row to compete in the Giro. He failed to complete the race last year.