Hah! I was due to ride this race, luckily we didn't do it in the end!
Now the situation as I understand it was that 96 riders were disqualified due to a protest. The protest was due to the fact that there were thunderstorms yesterday and since the morning stage was canceled (stage 6a, a time trial) that the afternoon stage in the same weather conditions should also be canceled.
I've never been involved in a rider protest. People pay 60 000€-100 000€ for your average international race (per stage). It's worth trying to ride through. If you can't, just stop. The last time I found myself in this situation I was suffering from vagal hypothermia somewhere in the mountains of the Algarve. We were at stage 3, the race was 230km long and passed several mountains. It was raining heavily and the average temperature was 4ºC, add in some thunder, and a strong wind.
Fans often think riders should harden the fuck up. They probably think it's like toughing out a 100km training ride in the rain, when it's nothing of the sort. The truth is, cycling is such a sport that you either can, or you can't deal with a situation. And 99% of people can not even imagine keeping up, yet alone dealing with adverse conditions like hail or a thunderstorm.
Riders should make the effort to race, whatever the conditions. Give up if they must.