Deceuninck Quick-Step's Sam Bennett was first to cross the line at La Vuelta, but was relegated from the results after what the race organisers called 'irregular sprinting' and so Pascal Ackermann (Bora Hansgrohe) stepped up to the top place on the podium in the latest stage.
Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal) continued his breakthrough performance at La Vuelta with a second consecutive podium place in sprint stages on Thursday. The 22-year-old is riding his first ever Grand Tour.
There was no substantial movement in the general classification, meaning Richard Carapaz (Ineos) remains in the overall lead.
The sprint teams were never likely to let the breakaway stay away, and so it proved. With two men up the road, the gap of Aritz Bagües (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Juan Felipe Osorio (Burgos-BH) briefly strayed over five minutes before being brought down and pegged at three minutes for the rest of the day.
Bora and Deceuninck made much of the running, with the former launching a well-organised lead-out inside the final three kilometres. But it was Bennett who had the edge in the sprint, crossing the line with his arms outstretched as his phenomenal 2020 continued in style. Just minutes later, his jubilation turned to disappointment, with the rescinding of his second La Vuelta victory of the year.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) had a last-minute bike change as the race neared its conclusion but the pace on the run-in was so benign he was able to catch back onto the peloton well before the sprint. He is still 13 seconds off the race lead.
With no classified climbs at all, the king of the mountains jersey remains on the shoulders of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) for another day.