Cycling NSW was forced to neutralise the final stage of the men's National Road Series event, the Santos North Western Tour, citing safety concerns due to the 117-strong men's field being unable to remain inside one lane as demanded by race regulations.
After repeated warnings to the riders, and repeated infringements, unfortunately for the safety of riders, we had to stop, and adjust the race.
The race had begun normally after the roll-out in Gunnedah, but after some 30 kilometres race officials stopped both men's and women's pelotons to address continual infringements of the race regulations by the men's field.
It wasn't the first time that riders had been warned by race officials of the consequences of violating race regulations, the lack of rolling road closure had made it an ongoing conflict between the men's field and the commissaires over the previous four stages.
However with today's finish in Tamworth on far busier roads, the spectre of traffic in the opposing lane was more concerning than it had been, and officials came to the conclusion that the race could not continue its current form safely.
"After repeated warnings to the riders, and repeated infringements, unfortunately for the safety of riders, we had to stop, and adjust the race," said race spokesman Andrew Newton.
A long discussion followed between the managers of the 25 men's teams in attendance and Cycling NSW officials with the end result a decision to allow one rider from each team, to continue the stage - an interesting novelty with almost all teams choosing their lead sprinter to contest the remainder of the day.
The general classification was neutralised, handing Budget Forklifts rider Mark O'Brien the overall victory.
Pre-empting today's issues, eventual stage winner, RBS Morgans-ATS rider Joe Lewis, called for road neutralisation as a "blanket standard for NRS events" after the Tour's opening road stage on Thursday. Lewis made the argument in favour of the safety of racers, and the quality of the event alike.
But the problem isn't a new one for races in NSW, with the two better-established classics, Grafton to Inverell and Goulburn to Sydney both facing the same issue year in and year out.
Grafton to Inverell, the final event on the National Road Series calendar does use limited road closures for some of the 230 kilometre classic, but even it contends with single lane riding for sections of the race.
The fact of the matter is that closed roads cost money for organisers, and on limited resources that's something that is often foregone, a luxury that cannot be afforded.
Grafton to Inverell was close to not going ahead in 2011 due to the prohibitive costs of police escorts, insurance, and road closures.
Bike racing is unique in this instance because of the nature of the way a stage tends to unfold. If there is a break up the road, the closures can often be multiple kilometres long, making it difficult for police and commissaires to effectively monitor the safety of the riders along the full length of the road.
Sean Muir, who is the current Cycling Australia road co-ordinator, and head of the National Road Series, says he's working to avoid the same situation occurring in the future, but is aware of the constraints that are being faced.
"I think in the future we'll be trying to get rolling road closures implemented," said Muir. "At the end of the day the race was pulled because of safety concerns.
"Commissaires were able to come to a compromise, and salvage something for the fans and sponsors and get a race winner.
"But it should be kept in mind that rolling road closures are expensive, but even so the road commission and the organisers will be looking at that issue after today."
Muir also re-emphasised the streamlining of series standards, which he's been a strong proponent of himself since joining Cycling Australia.
The Subaru National Road Series now takes a month long break, before resuming for the Tour of Gippsland, in August.