The 22-year-old reigning Tour de France champion finished safely in the peloton on Palm Jumeirah on Friday, but he and Slovenian compatriot and teammate Jan Polanc were later sanctioned by the UCI commissaires for “pushing another rider”.
Both riders were docked 10 seconds in the general classification as well as four points in the points classification, and both received a 200 Swiss francs (R3 300) fine.
Reportedly Polanc had given Pogacar a push in the final 100 metres as the peloton sprinted for the line.
The penalty means that Pogacar’s overall lead on Adam Yates (Ineos) has been cut to 35 seconds, with Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) third at 1:02.
With just one flat stage remaining, it’s unlikely to make any difference to the outcome of the red jersey.
After stage six on Friday, Pogacar said, “It’s one more day closer to the finish. I’m really happy this day is gone because it was hectic in the middle but we managed to stay together. Tomorrow I hope is a similar day.
“I’m not worried about my shape – only about bad luck,” the UAE Team Emirates rider concluded fatefully.