An Irish national women's road race in Wexford was halted in the middle of the competition over the weekend because they were going "too slowly" and disrupting the men's elite race.
The Irish Independent reports that the women had less than one lap left to go when they had to pull in to let the men's race go past.
Race Director, Derek Webb, told Independent.ie that the women were “given literally a 17km head-start, with only 50km to go, you certainly would be expecting that they would finish it out but they just didn't and the call was made by the commissaires to pull them in".
“It’s the rules of Cycling Ireland and it’s always the way it’s done, the slowest race is pulled over. You can’t ask the faster race, who are there to race, to slow down. You don’t do that.”
“As Race Director, I have a responsibility to the riders but I’m not responsible for the riders, for their actions. And they (the women) were just racing too slow and the average speed was well below what was expected of them.”
In previous years the races had took place on separate days.