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Sam Bennett relegated to last despite crossing line first on stage nine of La Vuelta a Espana

Sam Bennett relegated to last despite crossing line first on stage nine of La Vuelta a Espana
© Reuters
The final kilometre of the 157km stage from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo saw the Deceuninck-Quickstep rider surge to apparent victory.

Ireland's Sam Bennett crossed the line first only to be subsequently relegated to last place on stage nine of La Vuelta a Espana.

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).

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 said: "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."

It would have been a second stage victory of this year's race for Bennett – winner of two stages at the Tour de France last month – to add to his triumph on stage four.

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 Irishman Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) third and Briton Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) fourth, at 28 and 44 seconds respectively.

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