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Gianluca Brambilla apologises for Vuelta bust-up

Gianluca Brambilla issued an apology after his fight with Ivan Rovny saw him disqualified from the Vuelta a Espana on Monday.

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With less than 40 kilometres remaining, Omega Pharma-Quickstep cyclist Brambilla and Tinkoff-Saxo's Rovny came to blows in the breakaway on stage 16 from San Martin del Rey Aurelio to La Farrapona.

After exchanging punches on the penultimate climb, Italian Brambilla was the first to be disqualified by race officials despite his protests.

Russia's Rovny was later expelled, having continued to race alongside team leader Alberto Contador.

Brambilla went on Twitter following the race to apologise for the incident.

"I'm sorry. This situation shouldn't have happened. For my part in it, I apologize to #OPQS, race organizers, and the fans #sadday," the 27-year-old said.

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov was less than impressed by the officials and their decision to disqualify the pair.

Before Rovny's disqualification, Tinkov wrote on Twitter: "I don't think that Brambilla should be disqualified from #LaVuelta, it is too much. Penalty would be enough, pity and sorry."

Once Rovny was thrown out of the race, Tinkov added: "To eject out of #LaVuelta both boxers Rovny and Brambilla is definitely bad decision,I don't ,mind when boys are fighting, as in hockey.SHOW."

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