Grivko and Astana apologise for Kittel bust-up

Andriy Grivko and his Astana team have accepted his disqualification from the Dubai Tour for striking Marcel Kittel during stage 3. However, the experienced Ukraine rider claimed the Quick-Step Floors sprinter was trying to push his way into the echelon.

Kittel was left with blood running down his cheek after the altercation and went to speak to the race judge after getting treatment from the race doctor. He claimed Grivko elbowed him in the face and called for him to be banned for six months. Kittel refused to accept any kind of apology.

Grivko did not stop to speak to the media at the stage finish, riding on to a nearby hotel for a shower. On returning to the race hotel in downtown Dubai, he gave his version of what happened in the heat of the echelon. He claimed Kittel was overly aggressive.

"He wanted to take my place, he pushed me again and again. With my hand I tried to push him back, because it’s not possible. Maybe he didn’t understand me, I don’t know. Then after he broke his glasses, he was really angry," Grivko told journalists.

"You must win with the legs, not with the shoulders. In the sprint, I understand it’s a battle for position. But in the middle of the race, it’s not normal."

Grivko accepted the jury’s decision to expel him from the race.

"I agree with this decision. For me, it’s no problem, but everybody must respect each other. OK, he’s a leader, but he can’t push riders off the road. It’s dangerous for everybody," Grivko concluded.

The Astana team quickly issued a formal apology via social media for Grivko’s ‘improper behaviour’, with sports director Alexander Shefer revealing that the team management will consider additional punishment for the rider.


Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.