Tempers flared along with the heat on Friday at the Tour de France. Spaniard Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) and the Portuguese rider Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) came to blows after the end of stage six from Montargis to Gueugnon.
In videos of the incident on sporza.be and nos.nl, Barredo brandished a front wheel as he charged toward Costa and attempted to club him repeatedly over the head with it. The conflagration soon disintegrated into a fist fight as both riders lobbed blows at the each other. Nearby journalists and team staff intervened to separate the brawling riders.
According to L'Equipe, Barredo was upset after Costa touched handlebars with him in the final kilometres of the stage.
Each rider was fined approximately 300 euros for his misconduct.
"There were things that happened in the race, the product of stress," said Barredo after the incident according to AS. "I realize that my attitude was not correct and I take the penalty. These things should not happen."
Robbie McEwen had his own reasons to be upset after stage 6 after another incident. The Katusha rider's bad luck at the Tour de France continued when he collided with someone from the race organization at the end of the same stage. The Australian was taken to a hospital after the incident, but no fractures were found.
"[I] got taken out at 60kph by a podium chaperone 75m after the finish," tweeted an irate McEwen. "He literally jumped in front of me and ran into me. Nothing broken."
Just prior to the collision, he finished fourth in the final dash to the line.
"My back is so sore," said an incredulous McEwen. "I want him identified and expelled. Just too ridiculous for words what he did. I hope I can ride tmoro [tomorrow - ed.]."