After a tough night in the Sufferlandrian hotel in Agonia…
…the town clock, and countless smart phones, alerted riders that it was time to suit up and start again. And so it was with weary legs that the riders remaining in Tour of Sufferlandria pinned on numbers and prepared for the challenge of Stage 5.
True to predictions, the race started fast straight from the gun, with the women driving the pace up and over countless small bergs that provided an appetizer for the true climbing that was to come. Once into the mountains, eternal attacker Tommy Voeckler once again shot off the front and put many riders on their limit.
It was on the final climb, under brutal pressure from Cadel Evans, that the past four days began to show, as countless riders were unable to respond to attacks. Beaten like pieces of raw meat, they fought to simply limit their losses on the way to the top. Even on the descent, there was no mercy as Jens Voigt, Dries Devenyns and Samuel Sanchez all battled with Voeckler (yet again) and the Sufferlandrian for victory.
At the end, overall dreams of victory for the Sufferlandrian looked grim indeed, but not impossible. “Attack on Stage 6. It is only hope,” advised Director Sportif Grunter von Agony. “If not, starting stage 7 from behind is like being approached by ‘hungry’ bull from behind. Not good. No. Good for bull, yes, but not for rider.”