Belgium's Tim Wellens triumphed for the third time on the Renewi Tour, formerly the Benelux Tour ©Getty Images

Tim Wellens led a Belgian podium sweep at the five-stage Renewi Tour on the men's International Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour, where the last five kilometres of the final stage was neutralised after a protest over dangerous conditions.

It was a third victory on the race formerly known as the Benelux Tour, which was not held last year due to schedule clashes, following on from his successes in 2014 and 2015.

UAE Team Emirates rider Wellens defended his lead from the third stage, when he finished second to The Netherlands' Mike Teunissen on the 171.5km hilly route from Aalter to Geraardsbergen.

He finished safely in a bunch sprint won by Australia's Sam Welsford of Team DSM-Firmenich of the 179.6km flat stage four from Beringen to Peer, and UAE Team Emirates worked to nullify an attack from stage winner Matej Mohorič of Slovenia and Team Bahrain Bictorious on the final 187.3km route from Riemst to Bilzen.

The hilly final stage was marred by a protest midway through the stage from riders, who expressed concern regarding the safety of the narrow final 5km.

The race was temporarily neutralised before race organisers agreed the last 5km would not count towards the general classification.

Mohorič suggested the decision should have been taken before rather than during the race.

Belgian riders took the top four places on the podium, Wellens clocking an overall 15 hours 51min 52sec, which was 23sec quicker than Lotto-Dstny's Florian Vermeersch in second and Yves Lampaert of Soudal-Quick-Step in third.

Lidl-Trek's Jasper Stuyven was 7sec further back in fourth.

Another Belgian rider in Lotto-Dstny's Arnaud De Lie topped the points classification, beating compatriot and Tour de France green jersey winner Arnaud De Lie of Alpecin-Deceuninck, who won the opening 183.9km flat stage from Blankenberge to Ardooie in a bunch sprint.

Britain's Joshua Tarling of Ineos Grenadiers in the individual time trial in the Dutch town of Sluis was the other stage winner on stage two.

The Renewi Tour clashed with the final Grand Tour of the year in the Vuelta a España, which started yesterday.

The Tour of Guangxi in China from October 12 to 17 is the only remaining stage race on this year's UCI World Tour.