Arkéa-Samsic leader Warren Barguil has apologised to Dimension Data's Enrico Gasparotto, both privately and publicly on social media, after having called the veteran Italian rider an idiot for 'allowing' eventual Arctic Race of Norway winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) to get a gap in the sprint to the line of the final stage, which meant that Barguil lost the leader's jersey by a single second.
Barguil had accused Gasparotto of 'flicking' him: of intentionally letting the gap to Lutsenko go so that Barguil – stuck behind Gasparotto – couldn't follow the Kazakh rider's initial surge. It meant that Lutsenko was able to take the remaining four bonus seconds available for taking third place on the stage, and also allowed a further second's gap to form between Lutsenko and Barguil on the finish line, giving the Astana rider the win.
"It's really shit. Lutsenko was strong, but if I'd been on his wheel, I think I could have managed it. But the guy who was on his wheel tried to flick me. That's not the way of cycling for me," Barguil raged after the stage. "I told him [Gasparotto] he's an idiot – I can't say more."
However, by Monday, a more measured response from the 27-year-old about what had happened came in the form of an apology on Twitter.
"I apologise to Enrico Gasparotto," wrote Barguil. "It was not the word to say in the media. We had a discussion to make that clear. It was hard to lose by one second after an intense race in which my teammates gave it everything. I was frustrated and angry, but I made a mistake by not being on the [Gasparotto's] wheel..."
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