VIDEO: Luke Rowe and Tony Martin disqualified after fight breaks out in the Tour de France
Super domestiques Rowe and Martin had a series of clashes at the front of the peloton, as Jumbo-Visma Team Ineos clashed over who was controlling the race
All hell broke loose on a transition day at the Tour de France as the race head north for three brutal stages in the Alps. It was one of the hottest day's on record, a whopping 36C, and tempers frayed.
Team Inoes and Jumbo Visma both working for their GC favorites Steven Kruiswijk, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal clashed over who was controlling the race. Rowe was effectively blocked by Martin who then retaliated.
At the end of the race, both riders apologised to each other for their conduct.
However, after reviewing footage that showed Martin swerving, causing Rowe to ride off the road, Rowe raising his hand to Martin's face and then both riders shoulder to shoulder at the front of the peloton as they clashed for a third time, the pair were ejected from the Tour de France, fined 1000 CHF and docked 50 UCI points under Article 8.2.1 of the UCI rule book that prohibits "assault, intimidation, insults, threats, improper conduct [including pulling the jersey or saddle of another rider, blow with the helmet, knee, elbow, shoulder, foot or hand etc], behaviour that is indecent or that endangers others".
Rowe and Martin apologised for the incidents and accepted responsibility. They said the clash happened in the heat of the moment as both riders were trying to get their team leaders into position.
Both Team Ineos and Jumbo Visma have appealed, but it is unlikely they will be able to overturn the race jury's decision.
VIDEO: Tony Martin and Luke Rowe go head-to-head in the peloton