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Molano disqualified from Critérium du Dauphiné for hitting Page

Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates)
Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Stuart FranklinGetty Images)

Juan Sebastián Molano has been disqualified from the Critérium du Dauphiné after being caught on camera hitting a fellow rider, Frenchman Hugo Page.

The Colombian sprinter, racing for UAE Team Emirates, was caught in footage shot from the TV helicopter pushing the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider before angrily remonstrating with him inside the final 10km of stage 6.

He then reached out to forcibly hit the 20-year-old neo-pro, who was clad in the green jersey as the third-placed man in the points competition.

At the finish, after a further run-in with Page, Molano was summoned to the UCI commissaire's video referee truck, where the footage was reviewed and he made his defence case. However, a few minutes later he was expelled from the race. 

In a statement from his team, Molano apologised for "a dangerous mistake" and said he understood why he was disqualified, but, speaking separately to journalists, blasted Page, with whom he said he'd had problems all race.

Page, similarly angry at Molano, explained to reporters that the incident occurred because Molano felt Page had cut across him in the battle for position in the peloton earlier in the race.

After the stage, the pair once again came together and Molano once again hit Page on the head, albeit more softly and amid heated debate over the incident. He was later called to the UCI jury truck and but was only informed of his fate once he'd returned to his team bus. 

His action was considered dangerous by the officials, with the removal of hands from bars to lash out at a rider usually met with the same fate. 

"On the run-in to the finish it was fast and tense and in the heat of the moment I made a dangerous mistake," said Molano in the statement.

"I'd like to apologise to Hugo Page and to all the riders for what happened. I understand why I was disqualified and can only say that I regret it and learn from it."

Molano had crossed the line in seventh place, with Page 14th, as the peloton rolled in 32 seconds behind the breakaway, with the stage won by TotalEnergies rider Valentin Ferron.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.