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Team Ineos looking to appeal against Luke Rowe's expulsion from Tour de France

Luke Rowe (Team Ineos) was expelled after stage 17 of the Tour de France

Luke Rowe (Team Ineos) was expelled after stage 17 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Team Ineos are preparing to appeal the official's decision to expel rider Luke Rowe from the Tour de France

Rowe was involved in an altercation with Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin on the final climb during stage 17 on Wednesday, and both were expelled by the UCI jury.

The UCI commissaires reviewed footage of the incident – in which Martin appears to swerve right to block Rowe, who responds by raising his arm to the German's face – and decided to punish the pair under article 2.12.007/8.2.1 of the regulations, which covers assault.

Rowe, along with Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford, gave brief interviews to television cameras outside the UCI's video truck after being informed of the decision, but Team Ineos are yet to make an official statement on the matter.

At the team's hotel in Gap, a spokesperson told Cyclingnews they have not yet accepted the decision and are looking into whether there are grounds for appeal.

"It feels incredibly harsh, if I'm honest, just having watched the clip," Brailsford said outside the video truck.

"There's no doubt about it, Tony cut up Luke, and he's kind of fought for his position a little bit – nothing more than you see most days in the race. It's a pretty harsh decision. I think maybe a yellow card would have been merited, but a red for both riders feels a bit severe to me."

For his part, Rowe said: "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."

The UCI regulations provide for fines ranging from 50 to 2000 CHF for "assault, intimidation, insults, threats, improper conduct, or behaviour that is indecent or that endangers other. A rider can be eliminated "in serious cases, in cases of repeat infringement or aggravating circumstances or if an infringement offers an advantage".

Team Ineos are currently trying to work out if and how they are able to appeal to the UCI in order to fight the punishment and keep Rowe in the race. Geraint Thomas lies second overall and they are now one rider down for the three crucial Alpine stages coming up.