By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Saint-Georges, Québec
Andreas Shillinger and Eric Baumann (Sparkasse) out rode a large breakaway group on the tough circuit course in Saint-Georges, which featured 15 laps up a 1.5km climb to the finish. Each lap shed a few more riders until the penultimate lap when the German duo attacked up the climb, leaving all but Frenchman Paul Brousse (A-Style Stomn) behind. The two Sparkasse riders attacked Brousse on top of the course, easily escaping him before rejoining on the final descent and climb for an impressive shared victory.
"For both us it was a hard day," Shillinger told Cyclingnews. "The breakaway group went on the first lap and every team had one rider, so we all worked together." Sparkasse was one of three teams with two riders apiece in the break, along with Team Type 1 and Pezula. "All the time we tried to be in the first group because many riders did not want to ride – they saw three teams with two riders," said Baumann. "So we had to always be in a good position."
While Baumann took a podium spot on the opening stage, he told his team-mate in the break that today was not his day. "At the beginning of the race my legs did not feel so good, so I went to Shilli and told him it is your day and I will ride for you. But then my legs came around and I saw the group [I was in] was tiring."
The group had rolled up to more than a four-minute gap before the Symmetrics team started pulling back the time. With the split coming down and remaining riders beginning to suffer on the finish climb, Shillinger put the first back-breaking attack in. "Five laps before the end I just decided to go up the hill faster," he said simply.
Baumann watched the rest of the break's reactions to his team-mate's attack before deciding his legs had finally come around. "There was a group away with Shilli and Chris Jones was riding full block to get back to this group," he said. Baumann took the ride behind Jones to reach his team-mate which then set-up the final attack. "On the second to last climb Shilli attacked and I was waiting, waiting. Everyone was tired and then I went to make two of us on the front."
For full coverage from stage five of the Tour de Beauce, click here.
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