The Vuelta a España became more than just a fight with the legs when Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider Gianluca Brambilla and Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff-Saxo) engaged in a prolonged slapping match while in the day's breakaway on stage 16 from San Martín del Rey Aurelio to La Farrapona. Lago de Somiedo on Monday.
The two were climbing the penultimate climb of the stage with about 37km to go when they were caught by the cameras exchanging blows - but they were also seen mid-fight by the race official, who was following just behind the breakaway.
Brambilla then went off the front of the breakaway and was leading the race together with teammate Wout Poels and Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) when the officials came up to him some 25km later to inform him he had been disqualified.
Rovny, too was ejected from the race after helping his team leader Alberto Contador return to the lead group after a mechanical.
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