• Tony Martin and Luke Rowe were engaged in a altercation during Stage 17 of the Tour de France. (Supplied.)Source: Supplied.
Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Luke Rowe (Ineos), who were involved in an altercation during the Stage 17 finale were tossed out of the Tour de France by the race commissaires.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Reuters
25 Jul 2019 - 5:00 AM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2019 - 10:48 AM

The incident occurred less than 15 kilometres from the finish, with Martin attempting to force Rowe off the road. 

The jury made the decision based on additional images to those seen on live television. As the replay crashes in on our coverage, SBS understands Rowe then pulls on Martin's jersey in retaliation causing the German to lose control a little. 

The decision was made official by the International Cycling Union (UCI), which is responsible for applying the sanction, following a protocol established after the case of Sagan Tour 2017. Peter Sagan was excluded because of a dangerous sprint in Vittel.

It is a blow for two of the strongest teams in the mountain pack, on the eve of the Alps. Tony Martin, former world time trial champion, would have been of great help to Steven Kruijswijk, third overall, while Luke Rowe is the lieutenant in the plain of defending champion Geraint Thomas, currently second.

WATCH: Clip of altercation between Tony Martin and Luke Rowe

Race commissaires report to the International Cycling Union (UCI) and communicate their daily decisions to the Tour organisers.

“To come here with this team, a bunch of good mates, I feel like I’ve let them down and of course let myself down,” an emotional Rowe said. 

“We were both trying to do a job. Maybe we both overstepped the mark slightly, but it feels harsh to be thrown off the race, both of us.”

Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford said: “It’s nothing more than you see most days of the race. It’s a pretty harsh decision.

“I think a yellow card would have been merited but a red card, for both riders in fact, feels a bit severe to me.”

Last year, Ineos — then Team Sky — rider Gianni Moscon was expelled from the Tour for taking a swing at French rider Elie Gesbert.

A UCI press releease later confirmed the sanction, dishing out to both riders expulsion, 1,000 CHF fines, and 50 UCI points stripped, under Article 8.2.1 of the UCI code which covers any kind of improper conduct in relation to violence or physical threats. 

With only four stages remaining and Thomas directly in the hunt for yellow, Ineos are currently looking into options to lodge an appeal to the UCI in order to keep Rowe in the race.

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