- It was a good stage of the whole team today, protecting me well and working in the front. The first climb was a hard one, but I think we did a good job by controlling the race. That Magnus Cort managed to finish 2nd in the sprint behind the breakaway was impressive after the work he had done today. We’re confident for the stages to follow, but still everything can happen, - told Luis Leon Sanchez.
After yesterday’s Time Trial, today was a new challenge for the peloton at Paris-Nice, climbing the first 1st category climb of the race at Stage 5. Riding from Salon-de-Provence to Sisteron, 163.5 kilometers, the riders had to conquer 4 climbs in total of which one 3rd category climb in the final 15 kilometers.
In the first phase of the stage, 4 riders got clear for the day’s breakaway: Nils Politt, Nicolas Edet, Jérôme Cousin and Julien El Fares. These riders had a maximum advantage of 5.50 at the top of Col de Lagarde-d'Apt (1st cat.). After this climb the gap decreased because of a pulling Astana Pro Team leading the pack.
At today’s final climb, 12 kilometers before the finish, half of the breakaway dropped. Only Politt and Cousin were still in the front of the chasing peloton, making it into the final kilometer. It was Jerome Cousin finishing in front of a rushing peloton, where Magnus Cort sprinted to a 4th place behind Andre Greipel.
A harder stage is expected for tomorrow, with the Colle sur Loup (1st cat.) in the final 10 kilometers, after multiple climbs riding from Sisteron to Vence (188km).
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto