Tour de France green jersey winner Sam Bennett was stripped of a second stage win at the Vuelta a Espana and placed last after he was found guilty of irregular sprinting.
The finish to the 157-kilometre stage from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo saw the Deceuninck-Quickstep rider appear to claim victory after surging past German Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) for what would have been his ninth Grand Tour stage success, following an earlier win in this year's race to add to his two in the Tour de France, a pair of wins in last year's Vuelta, and three in the previous year's Giro d'Italia.
But following analysis of an incident where Bennett made contact with Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo) with his shoulder, the 30-year-old's sprint was deemed irregular and he was relegated.
A message posted by Deceuninck-Quickstep’s official Twitter account read: "After a complaint from another team – whose rider tried to barge into Sam Bennett’s train, who defended his position – Sam has been relegated by the race commissaires."
While Ackermann was promoted to first, with Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal) second and Max Kanter (Sunweb) third, there was no change at the top of the general classification.
Leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) of Ecuador remains 13 seconds clear of Slovenian defending champion Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), with Ireland's Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) third and Britain's Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) fourth, at 28 and 44 seconds respectively.
Ackermann felt justice had been served by Bennett's disqualification.
"It wasn't a fair action from him," said the German. "I think, after all the crashes in the last week, we have to take care of the other guys.
"I feel sorry for Sam, but now we have to ride more fair. I'm really happy about this victory and also for my team, they did an awesome job today, they did it all from the front and I'm happy to give something back to them."
?Tras los días de montaña, una etapa llana. Un final polémico en el segundo sprint de #LaVuelta20. Revívelo en 1'.— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) October 29, 2020
?A stage for the sprinters after all the mountains ended with a disqualification. The 1' summary. pic.twitter.com/g66OkDELh8