The Astana cycling team have apologised after their rider Vincenzo Nibali was expelled from the Vuelta A Espana after being towed by a team car.
Italian rider Nibali used the vehicle to help him get him back up with the peloton after suffering a crash, but was filmed by a camera taking a lift.
Astana wrote on their website, astanaproteam.kz: "Nibali called for a replacement water bottle and was filmed by television cameras in a race helicopter as Astana Pro Team director sportif Alexander Sheffer towed him for more than five seconds to rejoin the chasing group with around 20km to the finish. Nibali rejoined the main peloton with 10km to go.
"For this illegal assistance, race jury officials took the unusual and severe step to expel Nibali and Sheffer from the Vuelta a Espana and to remove the team's second vehicle from competition for two days.
"Astana Pro Team is sorry for the error, and apologises to the peloton and race organisers for the harm these televised images caused to professional cycling."
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Chris Froome has won the 102nd Tour de France for a second time in Paris.
The Team Sky rider, and 2013 champion, was greeted by cheering and clapping as he came down the Champs-Elysees in his yellow jersey.
Froome sealed victory by one minute 12 seconds from Movistar's Nairo Quintana, securing Team Sky's third Tour title in four years.
Chris Froome effectively sealed a second Tour de France title despite Nairo Quintana's nerve-shredding ascent of Alpe-d'Huez.
Froome, the 2013 champion, led nearest rival Quintana (Movistar) by two minutes 38 seconds entering the 110.5-kilometres 20th stage from Modane Valfrejus.
The Team Sky leader's advantage was cut dramatically by the Colombian climber on the 13.8km finishing ascent and its 21 hairpin bends.
But Quintana ran out of road ahead of Sunday's ceremonial finish in Paris, where Froome will stand atop the podium for a second time.
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) won the stage, with Quintana second, 18 seconds behind and Froome one minute 38 seconds adrift of the Frenchman in fourth.
For the latest highlights, standings and reaction visit ITV's Tour de France website.
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Warren Barguil nudged Team Sky's Geraint Thomas on the descent on Stage 16 and the Welshman diverted into a telegraph pole - hitting his head in what looked like a nasty crash.
Amazingly, he got back on his bike and has maintained 6th place in the overall standings.
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