Race: Tour de Beauce, Stage 5
Start/Finish: Saint-Georges/Saint-Georges, Canada
Distance: 122.4 kilometers
Saint-Georges, Canada — Team Novo Nordisk’s Kevin De Mesmaeker held on to his top 20 place in the general classification following a challenging final stage at the Tour de Beauce.
“Today was one of the hardest, most technical and hilly courses I have done in my life,” De Mesmaeker said. “It was all about position. I was dropped from the front group because I was in 20th position when the break went. I learned that position is so important. While you still need to be strong, if you are smart, you can get a good result on this stage.”
Sunday’s Stage 5 of the Tour de Beauce was a 12-lap circuit around a 10.2-kilometer course. With very small time gaps between the race leaders, the intermediate sprints were very important due to time bonus. On the opening lap, six riders attacked and held on for a few laps before getting reeled in. By the third lap, four new riders escaped and built a gap of 1:45 but again were brought back. The fast pace and hard course shattered the peloton so much that race officials stopped announcing withdraws. Heading into the final lap, several large breakaways escaped but were all caught. On the final lap, 22 riders started with a 28-second advantage. The pace remained high causing this group to splinter. In the end, three riders came to the line together with Ben Perry (Silber Pro Cycling) taking the win. De Mesmaeker finished in the third group.
“Today was harder than yesterday because of all the corners and you had less time to recover,” De Mesmaeker said. “I’m pleased with my final position. I didn’t come into this race thinking about the GC (general classification), and I’m proud I was able to push myself these past few days to hold on to 20th overall.”
Results: Ben Perry (Silber Pro Cycling) sprinted to the win ahead of Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Robert Britton (Team SmartStop). Pello Bilbao took the overall race win while De Mesmaeker finished 20th overall.