Bernhard Eisel of Team Columbia took his second season win Thursday at Paris-Bourges. The Austrian out-sprinted the four Frenchmen with whom he was in an early break group.
The escape got away only 15 kilometres into the 194-kilometre race. The five riders built up a lead of 13 minutes and held on to a ten-minute lead at the end.
"Unfortunately I had to ride against four French riders in the finale, so I stayed at the front and kept the tempo high," Eisel said on his website eisel.com. "600 metres before the finish I went even faster and at 250 metres [Anthony] Charteau opened the sprint. I hung on his rear wheel and pulled around with 150 metres to go. [Cedric] Pineau came dangerously close, but it worked out."
Officials named Eisel the winner over Pineau in a photo finish.
The 27 year-old Eisel said, "Paris-Bourges is a real classic and today's win was important to me. In the last six months. I have been a 'jack-of-all-trades', preparing sprints for my colleagues, and of course I am very satisfied that I could end the season with a victory." His previous win this season was the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve in February.
Eisel will end his season on Sunday with Paris-Tours. "Paris-Tours will be almost my 100th race this year. A long season will then end."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of Paris-Bourges.