The start of Saturday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta a Espana was delayed after a protest led by Ineos Grenadiers.
It followed a decision by stewards on Friday that put Primoz Roglic back into the overall lead.
After Roglic burst clear to win the stage, they decided that the first eight finishers had created a large enough gap to split finishers on time.
It meant Richard Carapaz lost the overall lead, but Ineos were angry as the rules were changed after the stage.
The rules state that on stages expected to finish in a bunch sprint, time gaps are counted if there is a gap of three seconds or more between groups.
Friday’s stage finished with a 1.5km, 5.9% climb but was initially given the three-second cut-off.
However, that was later changed to the usual one-second gap found on mountain-top finishes, causing Ineos to protest as the riders did not know about the change.
Carapaz came in behind a gap in the finishers and was adjudged to have lost three seconds.
That, combined with his 10-second bonus for winning, was enough to bring Roglic level on time and put him in the overall lead.
Several other riders in the top 10 also lost time, including fourth-placed Briton Hugh Carthy, whose Education First team lodged a protest against the decision.
Ineos complained they had been “stung” with Chris Froome, who has won seven grand tours including the Vuelta twice, leading the protest at the start in Villaviciosa.
Other teams joined in and the whole peloton waited before setting off.
It follows rider protests at both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia earlier this season.
Saturday’s stage of the Vuelta is a mountainous one, covering 170km and finishing on the Alto de la Farrapona.