Besseges Stage 5: Maaskant attempts valiant break and Frischkorn finishes 9th overall
Today's final, high speed stage (average 46k/hour) was just what Dutch rider Martijn Maaskant needed to shift his game in to high gear. After joining a breakaway with four other riders, Maaskant attacked and solo'ed for about 20K before the field swallowed him up with 5K to go. Will Frischkorn finished the five-day stage race 9th overall.
Most of the riders from Besseges will head to Girona this evening to recover and train. Though Jason Donald and Pat McCarty will go on to do five-day Tour Med stage race starting Wednesday, February 13. They will be joined by Timmy Duggan, Ryder Hesjedal, Christophe Laurent, Trent Lowe, Dan Martin, and Chris Sutton.
Friedman's Great Escape
Micheal Friedman on today's 120K breakaway:
"Don't quit, don't give up, fight till the end. After yesterday's blow out with the climb and GC, my job was simple. Be really aggressive, make the breakaway, and take pressure off the boys. Jason and I both had this job, and we worked as a tag team initiating and following."
"The break went on a large descent. I bolted across using my cornering skills and what normally is gravitationally challenging--my ass--to shoot up to them. From there we rolled it evenly until the final 25K where we had to haul ass to prevent the unpreventable today, getting caught by the peloton with just 3K to go."
Besseges stage 4: Friedman Attacks, Maaskant finishes 10th, Frischkorn moves up to 9th overall
Team Slipstream/Chipotle H3O dug deep today and came back strong from yesterday's thrashing. The start of the 151K loop kicked off with several breakaway attempts. It was at the 35K mark, on a descent, that Michael Friedman made the the big break of the day along with four other riders.
Halfway into the race, the break had a four minute gap on the hard chasing peloton. Unfortunately, the break was caught just a few kilometers from the finish and the stage finished in a massive field sprint. Martijn Masskant finished 10th and Will Frischkorn moved up from 10th to 9th in the overall classification.
Director Sportif Lionel Marie said tomorrow's final 145K stage should be animated. "Watch for fireworks tomorrow because we plan to attack on all fronts."
Besseges stage 3: Reality Check
With a double ascension of the Col de la Baraque (631M), today's decisively difficult stage 3 took its toll on the team. Only Pat McCarty and Will Frischkorn were able to hang on to the peloton over the second ascension of the climb. Michael Friedman has fallen out of the top ten in the overall classification but is still looking for a stage win.
French rider Kilian Patour started the stage sick and did all he could to finish. But after vomiting twice and then feeling dizzy on the descent, he decided it was time to call it quits. He will head home to recover and we all wish him well.
Two men short, the team will regroup for the 151K stage around the Fumades and a possible stage victory.
Besseges stage 2: Friedman moves up to 8th in GC
After several break away attempts, Thursday's 149K stge from Nimes to Saint Ambroix finished in a massive field sprint. Martijn Maaskant was the highest placed Slipstream finisher at 13th. Michael Friedman's 48th place finish managed to move him up to 8th overall in the general classification.
Today's decisive stage 3 is a figure eight-shaped circuit that includes La Baraque (631M), a category 1 climb.