Team Ineos captain Luke Rowe has been expelled from the Tour de France following an altercation with rival rider Tony Martin.
The incident occurred towards the end of stage 17 as Jumbo-Visma captain Martin appeared cut across Rowe while the two jostled for position.
Martin’s actions almost forced Rowe off the road, infuriating the Welsh cyclist who retaliated by shoving the German in the face.
Race stewards disqualified the pair and they will play no further part in the Tour.
Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford described the decision as ‘harsh’.
"It's nothing more than you see most days of the race. It's a pretty harsh decision,” he lamented. "I think a yellow card would have been merited but a red card, for both riders in fact, feels a bit severe to me."
Following the decision, both riders appeared together in a video to apologise for their actions, putting it down to the ‘heat of the moment’.
"We both made a mistake and have accepted responsibility.” Rowe said.
Martin then made a plea with organisers to allow them to continue racing for the remainder of the tour.
“For both of us [we want] a chance to say sorry. We’ll take a penalty but please let in the race and let us do better in the next days.”
Both teams have said they will appeal the decision.
We are disappointed that @LukeRowe1990 has been disqualified from #TDF2019 following a racing incident with Tony Martin. Along with @JumboVismaRoad, we are currently looking into an appeal. pic.twitter.com/Ge0PkpDezz— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) July 24, 2019
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