High Road speedster Ina-Yoko Teutenberg kept the opposition at bay by a handful of seconds to clinch the win in Wednesday's stage five of the Tour de L'Aude. At the end of a 60 kilometre attack, Teutenberg and her breakaway companion Charlotte Becker finished just four seconds ahead of the field.
"It was truly spectacular," said sports director Ronny Lauke. "With ten kilometres to go, Ina had an advantage of just 50 seconds, but she managed to hold on by the skin of her teeth."
"I didn't think we'd make it," said Teutenberg after the stage. "At 2.5km to go they were right on us. But there was a bridge that really hurt and I think that messed up the chase a little. I just put my head down and went as hard as I could. It seemed like such a long way. When I saw the 500m to go mark I accelerated and managed to hold it," said Teutenberg.
"The bunch could see Ina all the time from about six kilometres to go," added Lauke. "They knew she was out there, they knew they had to catch her, but they couldn't do it. It was really exciting. Whats great is that Ina enjoyed herself. She loves getting away in breaks like that and seeing what happens."
Teutenberg's move was planned from the start. In a pre-race meeting, the High Road squad had decided to go with the breaks. "She attacked after the second climb of the day, just when Becker decided to make a move as well. Charlotte's a great time triallist, so it made sense to keep going, even though the wind kept changing direction and making it very tough for the two of them."
"There was a technical section after the climb which suited Ina's bike handling skills well and meant they could build up a big gap quickly on the bunch. It was close at the end, but she still managed to do it!"
Last year Teutenberg won the final stage of the Tour de L'Aude in a similar long, two-rider, break.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of stage five of the Tour de L'Aude.