Dubai Tour: Cyclist Disqualified For Punching Colleague

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Ukrainian Andriy Grivko has been disqualified from the Dubai Tour for punching race leader Marcel Kittel.

Grivko’s Astana team apologised to Kittel and his Quick Step Floors team.

German sprinter Kittel posted a picture on Twitter with blood on his face, and wrote: “I won’t accept an apology. That has nothing to do with cycling.

“What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport.” He also said: “I really can’t understand how he can do something like that.”

Kittel had won the opening two stages in a race which strongly favours sprinters, but was outside the top 10 on day three as his former Giant team-mate John Degenkolb, now with Trek-Segafredo, took stage honours.

Afterwards, Kittel suggested his disappointing finish was related to the incident with Grivko, which happened early on the 200km stage from Dubai to Al Aqah.

“When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me,” Kittel said on his team’s website.

“I get that riding in the crosswinds is always tense, but it gives him no right to act like that. He could have hurt my eye. It’s a real shame what happened. In the finale, my mind wasn’t 100% on the sprint, but I am happy I have no big injuries and I kept the lead.”

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was also outside the top 10 in an untidy sprint finish, with Aqua Blue Sport’s Adam Blythe the best-placed Briton in ninth place after his team-mate Mark Christian spent most of the day in the break.

Kittel retained the overall race lead by eight seconds from Dylan Groenewegen of Team Lotto NL-Jumbo.

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