2006 Stage 5, 152.6km rochester > canterbury
2 “It’s a painful memory,” is how Bennett recalls this one. The penultimate day of the race began in Rochester with an 8km neutral zone through the town. But “some muppet stood in front of an arrow and that routed the police the wrong way, and they took the whole race into a Tesco car park.
“It resulted in riders striking and the race started with 90 minutes left, going into Canterbury,” adds Bennett.
The peloton, headed by Italian Francesco Chicchi, eventually crossed the line despite a 26-minute delay, though organisers didn’t reveal at the time what had actually happened. “It was infuriating at the time but it’s funny now,” says Bennett. What they said... Kristian House, riding for the Recycling team, was frustrated with the protests: “Canterbury is my home town and I wanted to race but other riders didn’t. “I was torn between my team manager’s instruction to race and the unwritten law in the peloton that you stick together. Nobody wanted to upset the big teams.”