It was largely predicted before the race that the general classification would be settled by Stage 4 of the tour, and although this prediction ended up being correct, any riders expecting stage 5 to be anything like a Sunday bunch ride were in for a rude awakening. From the moment the lead car peeled away from the bunch to signal the start of the 122km road race, the attacks started coming, and they did not stop.
For the final stage, the High5 Dream Team had the job of defending the young rider jersey for Ellen and also wanted to take opportunities in hope of getting a result on the stage. This meant that we had to be on high alert, and make sure none of the other top young riders escaped, and we also wanted to make sure we were represented if any dangerous breaks got up the road.
With riders launching themselves off the front from kilometre zero, we had to all work hard to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Despite constant attacks throughout the first part of the race, nothing really got away. Coming up to the first QOM, team USA set a rather uncomfortable pace for everyone’s tired legs, and as we went over the hill, the bunch was reduced to around 20 riders, including Ellen and myself.
The attacks continued over the top of the hill and for a while it looked as though the race would be blown apart, but after a short lull, we were happy to see Georgia and Jess make it back to the bunch, as we knew we would have a better chance with all of us at the finish.
After nothing getting away for much of the race, a single rider from DNA Cycling was able to escape late in the race and get around one minute ahead of the peloton. However, it was only a matter of time before team USA reeled her in around 5km from the finish. The race finished with a sprint in the centre of Masterdon. It was a good day for the High5 Dream Team with Georgia finishing in second place behind Lauren Hall from team USA, and Ellen taking out the young riders classification for the tour. A great result for the team after five hard days of racing.