Team Ineos say they hope to appeal against the decision to throw Luke Rowe out of the Tour de France.
The British outfit say they are “disappointed” after the race commissaires disqualified Rowe and Jumbo-Visma’s Tony Martin after an altercation on stage 17.
Martin and Rowe were involved in a dispute with around 15km left to race on the stage to Gap, as Martin forced the Welshman to the side of the road, almost causing him to crash, and Rowe appeared to pushed Martin’s face.
The commisssaires reviewed the footage after the stage and decided to kick both men out for an “assault between riders.”
Team Ineos tweeted just before 8pm on Wedesday (July 24): “We are disappointed that Luke Rowe has been disqualified from the Tour de France 2019 following a racing incident with Tony Martin.
“Along with Jumbo-Visma, we are currently looking into an appeal.”
Rowe said that both riders had been fighting for position at the front of the bunch near the conclusion of stage 17 of the Tour de France 2019 to Gap, causing tempers to flare but adding “it wasn’t a big thing.”
He said that both riders sat up at the 10km mark and rode to the finish together, shaking hands and admitting they were both in the wrong.
The official communication from the race jury said Rowe and Martin were “out of competition” for an assault between riders.
They were also fined 1,000 Swiss Francs (£812) points each and deducted 50 UCI points.
After the decision was announced, Rowe told ITV: “It’s the biggest sporting event in the world and to come here with this team alongside a bunch of good mates, I just feel like I’ve let them down. Of course I’ve let myself down.
“I’m quite shocked, I think it’s a very harsh punishment but it’s something I’ve got to live with now and hold my head high.”
Team Ineos principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “They’ve decided to expel Tony and Luke from the race, which feels incredibly harsh if I’m honest.
“It’s nothing more than you see on most days of the race.”