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Africa's Team lose Tour of Britain win

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's Edvald Boasson Hagen crossed the finish line first on Monday's Tour of Britain stage, but was then relegated for 'irregular sprinting'. Stiehl Photography for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka's Edvald Boasson Hagen crossed the finish line of Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain first, but was later disqualified from the day's results due to 'irregular sprinting'.

The Norwegian sprinter had been shielded perfectly by his teammates on Africa's Team, and thought he had taken the win in Blyth, England (to make up for being pipped on the opening stage); but following a review of the footage Team Sky's Elia Viviani was awarded the stage win.

Early on Monday, seven riders formed part of the day's breakaway and established a solid gap on the peloton. However, the day was a marked down as a bunch sprint finish and the teams with options in that regard -- namely Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Team Sky, Orica-Scott and Quick-Step Floors -- allowed them just enough TV-time before reeling them in.

The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders did their part to help keep the breakaway in check and with just over 10 km left to go, it was back together again. Not long after that happened, Quick-Step Floors' king opportunist Philippe Gilbert tried to get away but couldn't make his break stick.

In closing kilometres, Africa's Team made smart use of their six-man squad: Scott Thwaites took over from South Africa's Jay Thomson to control the pace in the front while returning-from injury Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel cocooned the team's designated rider Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Then, in the final kilometre of the stage, Mark Renshaw moved to the front with Boasson Hagen in this wheel. They came out of the final corner first allowing Boasson Hagen the perfect position from which to launch his sprint.

However, having drifted towards his left and in front of Viviani, the 30-year-old was left to rue another near-miss during a season full of them.

"I know that I closed in Viviani but it wasn't on purpose," Boasson Hagen revealed in a team press release.

"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. It's really a pity after all the hard work the guys did today. However, we will keep fighting and try to go for it again tomorrow".

Tuesday's third stage (of eight) is 178km long, starts in Normanby Hall and finishes in neighbouring Scunthorpe. The route is considered flat so will likely see another dash for the line from the designated sprinters in the 20 teams.