FDJ team manager Marc Madiot has said he will seek damages if an investigation confirms Sébastien Reinchenbach's accusation that Team Sky's Gianni Moscon intentionally forced him off the road, sparking a crash that left him with a fractured elbow and hip.
Reichenbach is expected to undergo surgery on his elbow and will need three to four months to make a full recovery. Moscon was added to the Team Sky line-up for Thursday's Milano-Torino and is expected to ride Saturday's Il Lombardia, where Team Sky will fight with Quick-Step Floors for the number one spot in the 2017 WorldTour team ranking.
"I'm serene. And I've got no intention of sitting on my hands: I'm going to defend myself," Moscon told Tuttobiciweb and other Italian media before the start.
The FDJ team first accused Moscon on Tuesday evening, a few hours after Tre Valli Varesine. The team Tweeted: "The crash has been caused by the dangerous behaviour of one of his opponents, Gianni Moscon."
On Wednesday, Reichenbach confirmed the accusations to Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste as he travelled home. He said that he has filed a police complaint in Italy with the full support of the FDJ team. Reichenbach maintains that Moscon deliberately caused the crash as retribution for his part in highlighting how the Team Sky rider had racially abused FDJ's Kevin Reza during the Tour de Romandie in April.
Moscon posted a message on Twitter and denied causing Reichenbach to crash.
Team Sky initially refused to comment but issued a brief statement to some British media on Wednesday.
"First and foremost, we wish Sebastien a quick recovery from his injuries," the Sky statement said.
"With regards to the circumstances around the crash, it is right and fair that the full facts are established and that those involved first have the opportunity to provide their own view through the proper channels."
Madiot turns serious
Madiot is known for his often colourful language but spoke seriously about the team's decision to go to the Italian police.
"We've done what we had to do. The rider has filed a complaint. I think the police will speak to witnesses and as a consequence there will be report done by the UCI," Madiot told the French newspaper Le Parisien.
"After that it will be up to the Disciplinary Commission to decide what happens. But it's clear, if the investigation confirms what my rider said, then I'll seek damages."
Madiot said he trusts Reichenbach's account of what happened.
"The first thing he said was: 'He f…ked me over.' There are riders that saw it, who are expected to be witnesses. This is not a joke. I know Reichenbach, he's not the kind of guy who tells lies, he's a quiet guy."
"My problem is that my rider was apparently taken out on purpose. I'm not interested in the other stuff. Kevin put an end to his case because he didn't want all the media attention. He [Moscon] was sanctioned, even if it was during a recovery period, which no one really considered. Now we've got the events of the other day. And we're not laughing anymore."
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