On rare occasions races need to be stopped or neutralized for safety sake. Never an easy thing to decide and even more difficult to perform. Worst of all, no one is ever happy with how and why it is done. With the skies opening up and dumping buckets down on the break away and the peloton alike as they summit the final climb, it was apparent that the muddy descent would be very dangerous to do at speed. /The problem was, the racers weren't stopped and the time gap taken at the summit, the organizers let them race the dangerous descent and then stopped them in the valley once they reached the paved highway. It was relatively easy to stop the solo leader, Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear), but stopping a charging diminished peloton pressing their advantage was far more of a challenge. Facing there verbal abuse for stopping them once the danger (if not the rain) had passed was not for the feint of heart. With a neutralization, when the racing starts again, the riders are set off at the same time gap intervals that they were at when racing stopped. All are now rested and angry, so the re-start can't help but shake up what may well have been the results otherwise. This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that can be yours by visiting my artist website at www.greigleach.com. To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.