Marcel Kittel was seen bleeding from the head as he cross the line at the Tour of Dubai
Kittel, of the Quick Step Floors team, had won the first two stages of the race but fail to contest the sprint at the end of the third, crossing the line with a cut to his eyebrow and blood streaming down his face.
And the 28-year-old sprinter, who won the 2016 edition of the race, afterwards revealed the shocking reason why his face was in such a state at the finish.
Marcel Kittell could not control his rage after the incident
"I got punched by Andriy Hrivko from Astana," Kittel said.
"That's why I had blood on my face but I didn't crash.
Marcel Kittel clearly does think Andriy Hrviko would stand much of a chance against him off the bike
"There was some confusion in the race.
"My team worked well for the sprint but I was not in a perfect position and maybe my head was elsewhere too."
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Hrviko was promptly disqualified by the race organisers and his Astana team were also quick to issue a statement.
"Astana Proteam apologizes to Marcel Kittel and Quick Step Floors team for improper behavior of its rider Andriy Hrviko during stage three of Tour of Dubai," the team announced on their Twitter feed.