Sam Bennett has been relegated after barging another rider in the run-in to the finish line on stage nine of the Vuelta a España 2020.
The Irishman was captured on the TV helicopter barging another rider out of the way who was trying to get onto the back of his sprint train, the Deceuninck – Quick-Sprint sprinter hitting the Trek-Segafredo twice with his shoulder as he maintained his position in the bunch.
The decision took race commissaries 26 minutes before Pascal Ackermann stepped up to the podium as stage winner, with Gerben Thijssen (Lotto-Soudal) bumped up to second and Sunweb’s Max Kanter now third.
The decision is said to have taken so long because the UCI decided not to send its video truck to either the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España in an apparent cost-cutting move, cycling’s governing body not having escaped the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bennett had timed his sprint to perfection, coming out of the cover of his lead-out late to avoid the headwind and easing past his rivals, having time to sit up and celebrate as he crossed the line.
Ackermann therefore takes his first-ever stage win at the Vuelta a España, in his first participation in the Spanish Grand Tour, while Bennett was denied a second victory at this year’s race, having won the bunch sprint on stage four.
More to follow…