Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Casual violence could spruce events up

By Declan Bogue

The Vuelta. Did you catch any of it, or were you afflicted with a certain amount of bike fatigue after the visit of the Giro followed by the Tour?

And then there's the Tour of Britain, with Bradley Wiggins – remember that guy? Yeah, chances are you had enough of looking at men in lycra cutting the backsides off themselves.

Hopefully you didn't miss the row though! You can still catch it on YouTube by the way, the prolonged girly spat between Gianluca Brambilla (Italian, feisty, riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Iwan Rovny (here goes more stereotypes ... Russian, dour, riding for TinkoffSaxo).

It comes out of nowhere really, but before you know it Rovny is having to change his sunglasses after getting a clout in the face.

It being the 16th stage, Brambilla and Rovny were ejected from the race. It was in full view of all, so sanctions were unavoidable.

Another incident not caught on camera was the one that Team Sky's Letterkenny man Philip Deignan alleges against Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez.

"(He) took umbrage to my presence and nudged me out a little bit. So I held my ground and nudged him back. As we continued riding, suddenly, out of the blue, Rodriguez turned towards me and punched me full in the face, splitting my lip and leaving me both stunned and fuming."

This is a leap of faith, but come with me. These events could be livened up by a little casual violence.

Think about it. Someone overtakes Martyn Irvine in a velodrome. Next lap, one of Irvine's team puts a pole in his spokes.

Splat! What's not to like?

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