Elia Viviani awarded stage eight win after judges relegate the German.

After being stripped of his second stage victory in the Tour of Britain for an “irregular sprint” in Sunday’s London finale, André Greipel insisted that he did not deliberately block Sky’s Elia Viviani.

The Italian inherited the stage victory after commissaires ruled that Greipel deviated from his line in the closing metres on Regent Street.

Viviani was slowed after the pair touched in sight of the line, and he crossed the line making a gesture in the direction of race officials.

“I didn’t see Viviani coming; I was just concentrating on my sprint and suddenly he was next to me,” said Greipel.

“The final straight was not that wide, I had to look for space to overtake. Everybody was on the limit on the final corner.

“I didn’t do anything for purpose that’s for sure. That’s sprinting.”

Viviani did not attend the post-race press conference owing to his flight home.This was his third victory of the race, having won the race opener into Wrexham a week ago and stage three into Kelso’s Floors Castle on Tuesday.

Speaking to TeamSky.com, Viviani said: “When I saw Greipel go I went directly on his left-hand side. He came across a little bit, a little bit and that edged me towards the barriers.

“I’m disappointed because it is better to win without this. He is a big champion and I’ve never seen him do this before. But we won in London and that is the main thing.”

  • RobTM

    Looks like you didn’t watch it.. Greipel was pushing Viviani into barrier, only tap with helmet halted the drift, Greipel then put his head right down so he couldn’t see where he’s going.
    Commissaires need to act and relegate riders, doing dangerous stuff, the BUNCH safety relies on riders awareness and not deviating across other riders lines.

  • Bob

    Greipel didn’t hold his line & shut the door – Viviani would have been in the barrier if he hadn’t backed off – right decision IMHO whether he intended it or not, but I reckon he knew what he was doing.

  • RobTM

    Changing lines means rear wheel crosses front and causes crashes.. it’s been the reason quite a few times in races this year, many riders seem oblivious these days, if you watch footage carefully.
    Quite right to penalise it, bunch racing’s dangerous enough.

  • RobTM

    Yes, too often riders get away with things, which leads to the very dangerous heads down style and veering unpredictably across the road.
    Slightly ironic that Viviani also benefitted in early stage, from Cavendish opening the door by drifting away from barriers, rather than taking a fair (and winning) tight shorter line from apex of corner

  • Dave2020

    “commissaires ruled that Greipel deviated from his line.” That is indisputable. It makes no difference whether it was deliberate or a “mistake”.

    There is no grey area here. Greipel was metres away from the barrier when he started his sprint. He can’t then “choose” a line alongside the barriers, in order to ‘close the door’ on any opponent who may be able to pass.

    It’s clearly a case of fearing you’re about to get beaten, fair and square, and making a desperate attempt to stop that happening. The commissaires should correctly apply the rules more often, then the best sprinter, on the day, would win more often. It’s the weaker sprinter, who lacks confidence, who’ll resort to ‘closing the door’.

  • David Bassett

    Not being vindictive but have you ever been in a bunch sprint. The comment below sounds as if he has. And eminusv says it all. Greipel does not need to cheat, even when up against one of the greatest sprinters around.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Well its not clear,if sprinters were to penalised for what Greipel did then most sprints are illegal I think it was a touch of sour grapes.

  • Nico van Tonder

    I think if your on the outside round the last bend, you are gambling on space being available for your sprint, guys are going to drift and you might come second.

  • tj

    There’s a huge difference between shutting the door and putting someone in the barrier. If it really was unintentional then it’s unfortunate but the rule book is pretty clear.

  • eminusx

    yep, Greipel is a fair rider, he doesn’t need to resort to underhand tactics, if there was any blocking I’m pretty sure it was unintentional, I’m sure Viviani knows this really.

    Unlucky for Greipel, but he’s had plenty of big wins this year, I’m sure he won’t dwell on it for too long!

  • David Bassett

    I posted this on the other report—–Andre Greipel stripped of Tour of Britain win;

    From someone who loves to see Elia Viviani win I don’t think Andre Greipel should have been penalised Viviani a very fast sprinter puts himself into bad positions at the finish. That is most probably why he is so exciting to watch. If Cav had seen him on the first stage he would have gone to his left and shut the door on Viviani.
    A hard one to call.
    I do hope we see Andre Greipel back in the U.K. again

    Viviand obviously has something between his ears, some other riders would have made a song and dance about, maybe he could see it was six of one and half a dozen of the other.