The fourth stage of the Tour of Britain between Rotherham and Bradford was neutralised between mile 46 and 67 after the North Yorkshire Highways Authority refused to give the event permission to race on its roads.

26 riders had a 30 second lead when race officials decided to neutralise the race at the North Yorkshire border. Riders and the riders were suddenly stopped for five minutes and then escorted by the police before the racing restarted at the 67-mile mark when the race left the North Yorkshire roads.

This year?s race had been run without major problems but this improvised neutralisation brought back the bad memories of the 2006 race when the peloton got lost on the stage to Canterbury and race motorbikes crashed into the crowds on the Mall in central London. Tour of Britain technical director Mick Bennett (pictured) explained that the race had tried to convince the North Yorkshire highways authority to give them permission but when this was refused they decided to neutralise the racing.

?We applied to all 42 highway authorities for a 16A permission to race on the roads eight weeks before the race. 41 authorities gave us permission but North Yorkshire said our application was four days late,? Bennett said.

Nobody from North Yorkshire Highways Authority was available for comment on Thursday afternoon.

When the stage eventually restarted Spain?s Adrian Palomares broke away from the 26-rider attack to win the sprint in Bradford and take the overall race lead by a second. Tom Stubbe of Belgium finished second and David Blanco was third.

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Official site: www.tourofbritain.co.uk.