André Greipel was the first rider across the line for the second day in a row at the Tour of Britain but officials judged the Lotto Soudal rider to have impacted upon Elia Viviani with the Team Sky rider awarded the stage win having been second across the line. Greipel was relegated to 39th on the London stage which was last place in the first group.
Greipel had beaten Viviani far and square 24-hours previously in Ipswich for his first win of the race and explained narrow finale was a hindrance to the fast sprint.
"I didn't see Viviani coming. I was just concentrating on my sprint and suddenly he was next to me. The final straight wasn't that wide, I had to look for space to overtake," Greipel said of the incident. "Everybody was on the limit on the final corner. I didn't do anything for purpose that's for sure. That's sprinting."
Viviani, who won two stages early in the race, explained after the narrow loss to Greipel that he felt he was getting back to his best and lamented there wasn't a fair fight for the stage win.
"After yesterday I saw I had good speed in the legs after a really hard week, so we thought we could win today. (Ben) Swifty and Andy (Fenn) put me in a perfect position for the last corner. We saw the road go up and I knew we couldn't start the sprint too early," 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.
Adding that he didn't believe Greipel was acting malicious with his sprint, the Italian explained it was a strange feeling celebrating victory.
"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."