Ride and fight: Duelling cyclists disqualified as Alberto Contador win

Professional cyclists have been known to get quite competitive while on the saddle, but this video shows that sometimes, the heat of competition can result in outright violence.

Russian Ivan Rovny and Italian Gianluca Brambilla came to blows during the 16th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Spain on Monday (Sept 8).

The two riders were seen swinging wildly at each other during an early breakaway up a slope during the 160.5 km-long mountain stage, reported British media The Guardian. 

This happened after team Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Brambilla apparently became annoyed with Rovny (riding for team Tinkoff-Saxo) for changing pace during the break, reported The Independent. 

Unsurprisingly, both cyclists fell off the pace as the group they were in pulled away - while they engaged in mortal combat. 

Even more unsurprising was the fact that officials later disqualified the pair.

The fight overshadowed team Alberto Contador's win. Rovny's team-mate extended his overall lead over Chris Froome by 1 minute and 36 seconds.

There are five stages to go, with the last day of racing slated for Sunday (Sept 14).

Sources: The Independent, The Guardian, Cycling news, Reuters