Tour de France organizers announced that Luke Rowe and Tony Martin were disqualified after an altercation during a hot and fractious stage 17 from Pont du Gard to Gap.
The decision is a blow for both Geraint Thomas and Steven Kruijswijk, who were respectively second and third in the overall standings behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe ahead of three tough Alpine stages where they will need strong support.
Ineos and Jumbo-Visma were fighting for position at the front of the bunch when Rowe forces the Dutch team’s leader Steven Kruijswijk to move off the wheel of his team-mates.
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) July 24, 2019
Afterwards, Martin was filmed swerving in front of the Welshman, almost causing Rowe to fall in the final of the run to Gap.
Rowe said it was just a battle for position, adding that he ”shook hands” with Martin at the end of the stage.
Thomas shrugged off the shoving.
”It’s just the normal fighting to get their leaders into position,” he said. ”Nothing crazy, really.”
It’s the second straight year that Thomas has lost a teammate on disciplinary grounds. Gianni Moscon was disqualified for punching a rival during the 2018 Tour.