Team boss Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck-Quick-Step is furious after Sam Bennett's declassification in the Vuelta a España.

The Irishman initially won the ninth stage, but was later downgraded due to a push in the run-up to the mass sprint.

"What nonsense", Lefevere grumbled on Twitter on Thursday.

"Bennett was in the lead-out and a rider from Trek - Segafredo wanted to take him out."

"But we have known the incompetence of the UCI for some time," Lefevere added cynically.

"A lead-out must be respected and Bennett defended his line."

Bennett initially booked his second stage victory in this Vuelta, but was put back in the result after studying the images by the competition jury.

In preparation for the sprint, the thirty-year-old Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider gave a shoulder push twice to the Let Emils Liepins of Trek-Segafredo.

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Bennett should be relegated # lavuelta20 #LaVuelta

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Avatar Author allemagwzimeMoment of places16: 27 - October 29, 2020

For the users of the app, tap the tweet for a video of Sam Bennett's shoulder push.

Ackermann: 'Bennett's action was not fair'

Because of Bennett's declassification, the stage victory went to Pascal Ackermann, who crossed the finish line second.

The German agreed with the jury's decision.

"I saw the images after the finish and Bennett's action was not fair", concluded Ackermann.

"After all the crashes in the last few weeks, we have to take care of each other a bit. If there is no hole to dive in, you just have to keep your legs still. I find it annoying for Sam, but we just have to race safer."

Earlier this month, Ackermann was disqualified from the Scheldeprijs.

The 26-year-old BORA-hansgrohe rider, who finished second behind Caleb Ewan in the Belgian one-day race, was penalized for causing a serious crash in the bunch sprint.

See also: View the rankings of the Vuelta with Poels in 10th place