Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali has been disqualified from the Vuelta a Espana after the 2014 Tour de France winner got a tow from his Astana team car following a crash in yesterday's second stage into Caminito del Rey.
Television footage clearly showed Nibali, who won the Vuelta in 2010, hanging onto the car as he tried to catch up with the leaders in the final 30kms and organisers had no choice but to expel him.
"Basing their decision on television images clearly showing an infringement of the rules, the Vuelta race commissaires decided to take him out of the race," organisers said in a statement.
"The film shows clearly that Nibali was clinging to the car for 200 metres," added Bruno Valcic, the president of the race commissaires.
Astana director Alexandre Shefer, who was driving the car, is also out of the race, he said.
"It was a tough decision for the commissaires panel but after looking at the images it was clear that we had no opportunity to give any other penalty to the rider."
Esteban Chaves snatched the early lead when the Colombian Orica-GreenEdge rider surged clear at the death to win the mountainous stage.
Chaves pipped Dutchman Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin, with Team Sky's Nicolas Roche a further eight seconds back in third and Irish compatriot Daniel Martin another five seconds behind in fourth.