Two riders, one of which was the teammate of the defending champion of the Tour de France, Geraint Thomas, have been disqualified from the race following their on-course altercation. As for the teams of both riders, they said that this type of altercation was a minor one and it did not need such a harsh penalty for it.
On Wednesday, UCI, the Cycling governing body said that the teammate of Thomas Ineos named Luke Rowe and the other rider Tony Martin has been disqualified from the race.
This disqualification is a major blow for Kruijswijk and Thomas who were on the third and second rank of the overall race standings riding behind only the leader of the race, Julian Alaphilippe. The race was now heading into the Alpine stages which are really tough and where these riders ended the help of their already disqualified teammates more than ever.
During Stage 17 of the 200 kilometers race, Rowe and Martin both shoved each other near the finish line that was taking place in the Col de la Sentinelle. The rower was shoulder barged by Martin who then chased after him to push him from the back with his hand.
Rowe later said that this was only a battle for the position and she also shook hands with Martin after the stage ended.
Rowe said, “To be able to come here and be a part of such a good team and now to leave them in such manner, I feel like I have let them down and of course I have also let myself down. We were both trying to complete a job and we both mistepped a little bit. As for the penalty, it is very harsh for such a small incident. Neither for us is deserving for such a punishment.”
This is the second year for Thomas that he has lost a teammate following disciplinary action from cycling governing body. Back in the 2018’s tour, his teammate named Gianni Moscon was disqualified for punching a rival.