Pascal Ackermann claimed victory on stage nine of the Vuelta a Espana after Sam Bennett was relegated for a shove in the final kilometre.

Tour de France points classification winner Bennett lived up to his favourite tag by seemingly powering to victory in Thursday's 157.7km leg from Castrillo del Val to Aguilar de Campoo.

However, his celebrations at what would have been the Irishman's second stage win of this year's event, were cut short as race organisers ruled Bennett was overly aggressive in the way he shoulder charged Emils Liepins.

Bora-Hansgrohe rider Ackermann started his sprint at the same time as Bennett but ultimately had less power and speed than his opponent, though in the end it was he who came out on top following a post-race review of the Liepins incident.

Jasper Philipsen tried to find a way between the pair but could not do so, the UAE Team Emirates rider finishing fifth behind Gerben Thijssen and Max Kanter, only to be pushed up by Bennett's disqualification.

"When I saw the video, it wasn't a fair action from him," Ackermann said. "I think, after all the crashes in the last week, we have to take care of the other guys. 

"If there is no hole, we have to stop. I feel sorry for Sam, but they took me out in Scheldeprijs and now we have to ride more fair. 

"I'm really happy about this victory and also for my team - they did an awesome job today, all from the front and I'm happy to give something back to them."

There was no substantial movement in terms of the General Classification as Richard Carapaz finished safely in the peloton, despite needing a bicycle change with 13km to go.

The overall race leader retains a 13-second gap on reigning champion Primoz Roglic, who dragged himself back into contention with an impressive victory on stage eight.

STAGE RESULT

1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 03:39:55
2. Gerben Thijssen (Lotto–Soudal) same time
3. Max Kanter (Team Sunweb) same time
4. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Jakub Mareczko (CCC Team) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 36:11:01
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) +00:28

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 104
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 81
3. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) 73

King of the Mountains

1. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) 27
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 24
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 24

What's next?

Friday sees the riders make the 185km journey from Castro Urdiales to Suances, a predominantly flat stage that includes a category three climb towards the end.

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