Tour de France leader Julian Alaphilippe was stripped of the yellow jersey on Wednesday after being handed a time penalty for illegally receiving provisions near the end of Stage 5.
British rider Adam Yates was moved up to first place in the revised general standings after Alaphilippe was docked 20 seconds. TV footage showed the French rider grabbing a bottle from a staff member of his squad about 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the finish.
Riders are not allowed to receive provisions during the final 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of a stage.
Yates now tops the standings with a three-second lead over Primoz Roglic. Alaphilippe dropped to 16th overall, 16 seconds behind the new leader.
Belgian rider Wout van Aert won the fifth stage in a sprint finish.
Alaphilippe waived to the crowd as he left the finish area without the coveted yellow tunic he had worn for the last three stages.
“It was a very long and very boring stage, with a very nervous finale. I had to stay concentrated to defend the jersey," said the Frenchman, who is not seen as a contender for the overall victory. “But if that’s how it is, then no worries, tomorrow I’ll pick myself up and we won’t talk about it anymore.”
The jury's decision overshadowed Van Aert's second career-stage win at cycling's marquee event, a day after the versatile rider produced a tremendous effort in the Alps in support of his Jumbo Visma team leader Primoz Roglic.
Van Aert used his power in the slight uphill finish to win by half a wheel ahead of Cees Bol and Sam Bennett.
“It was a heavy finish. It was maybe the most easy stage I ever did in a cycling race because there was no breakaway, not a high pace at all, but then the last hour was really hectic with the wind,” Van Aert said.
The Belgian has been in superb form since the cycling season resumed last month, posting victories at the Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, as well as a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine.
The Tour, which was postponed from its usual July slot due to the coronavirus, ends in Paris on Sept. 20