Tour of Britain: Drama as original winner of Northumberland stage penalised
Team Sky's Elia Viviani was awarded victory on stage two of the Tour of Britain after Edvald Boasson Hagen was stripped of his win in a controversial finish in Blyth.
Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data), beaten in a photo finish on day one, crossed the line in Blyth first on Monday but suffered more heartache as he was relegated for irregular sprinting.
Boasson Hagen had put on the leader’s green jersey on the podium before the decision was made.
Viviani had gestured to the Norwegian after crossing the line in second, feeling he had been impeded and – over 40 minutes after the stage finished – it was confirmed the Italian had won and taken the green jersey.
Boasson Hagen, a two-time Tour of Britain winner, had been released by lead-out man Mark Renshaw with just under 200 metres left of the 211km route and held off the challenge of Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).
But Viviani and Groenewegen both immediately appeared to complain that Boasson Hagen deviated from his line.
It was an explosive end to a day’s racing that had settled down quickly as a seven-man break formed early on after leaving Kielder Water and Forest Park.
Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) attacked solo from the break with 20km left as the riders passed Blyth for the first time. The remnants of the break were soon caught but Holmes continued on his own until he too was swept up with under 14km to go.
Philippe Gilbert, a stage winner at all three grand tours in his career, tried his luck with a solo attack but with 5km to go it was all brought back together.
Thousands line streets to welcome Tour of Britain to Northumberland