London News & Search
Team Sky’s Elia Viviani won stage two of the Tour of Britain after Edvald Boasson Hagen was stripped of victory in a controversial finish in Fylde.
The Norwegian veered to his left in a sprint finish, blocking Viviani’s line.
He was in the race leader’s green jersey before being punished and, though he receives the same time as Viviani, he drops to third, with the Italian taking a four-second lead.
“I know that I closed on Viviani but it wasn’t on purpose,” said Boasson Hagen.
“It’s really a pity after all the hard work the guys did today. I was just sprinting for the line with my head down and when I looked up I was too close on the left side with Viviani on my inside.”
Boasson Hagen hit the front with 200m to go in the 211km stage from Kielder Water.
He held off Viviani, who immediately gestured towards the Team Dimension Data rider in frustration.
Boasson Hagen was beaten in a photo finish by Caleb Ewan on day one, with Viviani third.
Viviani now leads the overall standings on nine hours, 50 minutes and 35 seconds – ahead of Ewan and Boasson Hagen.
The order to overturn Monday’s stage result took more than 40 minutes and meant Viviani took the win ahead of Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, with Quick Step Floors rider Fernando Gaviria in third.
The sprint came at the end of a hectic day of racing, with Madison Genesis rider Matt Holmes attacking from a seven-man break with 20km to go.
He was swept up with 14km remaining and though Philippe Gilbert attempted a break of his own, he too was caught with 5km to go, prompting riders to position for the frenzied finish.
Wednesday’s third stage will see the eight-stage tour cover 178km from Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe.
Stage 2 result
1. Elia Viviani (Ita/Team Sky) 5hrs 16mins 32secs
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/ Team Lotto.Nl – Jumbo) Same time
3. Fernando Gaviria (Col/ Quick-Step Floors) Same time
4. Caleb Ewan (Aus/ Orica-Scott) Same time
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/ Katusha-Alpecin) Same time
Overall standings after Stage 2
1. Elia Viviani (Ita/Team Sky) 9hrs 50mins 35secs
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Orica-Scott) +4secs
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Team Dimension Data) +7secs
4. Karol Domagalski (Pol/One Pro Cycling) +8secs
5. Silvan Dillier (Swi/BMC Racing Team) +9secs
5. Kamil Gradek (Pol/One Pro Cycling) +9secs
London News & Search