In the official results given out by the race’s organisers the pair were listed on the ‘Hors Cours’ (out of the race) section after stage 17. The duo were involved in an altercation as the two teams jostled for position 15km from the end of the 200km run to Gap with Welshman Rowe appearing to hit Martin in the face. Both Ineos, with reigning champion Geraint Thomas in second place, and Jumbo with Steven Kruijswijk in third were keen to be on hand in that eventuality.
“To come here with my mates on this team, I just feel like I’ve let them down,” Rowe said.
“But it feels harsh, it is pretty hard. We were both very nervous,” he added.
“They have decided to expel Tony and Luke from the race wich feels incredibly harsh,” said Ineos principal Dave Brailsford.
“A yellow card would have been merited but a red card feels a bit silly to me,” he added.