Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) won the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice by beating Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) in a sprint Thursday.
After Cyril Gautier and a few others had been felled in a crash, Cousin launched his attack with 200 meters to go to finish two seconds ahead of Politt. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was four seconds behind Cousin in third place.
The 165-kilometer stage from Salon-de-Provence to Sisteron in southeastern France featured three modest climbs and a tough one up Col de Lagarde d’Apt.
“I knew that I had the legs to win this stage,” said Cousin. “But I had big cramps on the last climb and I saw that he was strong on the flat.
“Ten days ago, I didn’t even know that I was going to take part in the Paris-Nice. I was the last man in the team. I have the polka dot jersey (for best climber), that was the goal of the day. Victory on the stage is the icing on the cake.”
Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana keeps the overall leader’s jersey ahead of Friday’s 198km run to Vence which includes five climbs.
Paris-Nice 2018 – stage 5 results (Salon-de-Provence – Sisteron):
|1||Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie)|
|2||Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|3||André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)|
|4||Magnus Cort (Astana)|
|5||Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)|
|6||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis|
|7||Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|8||Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb)|
|9||Matti Breschel (EF Education First-Drapac)|
|10||Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo)|
General classification after stage 5:
|1||Luis León Sanchez (Astana)|
|2||Wout Poels (Team Sky)|
|3||Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)|
|4||Marc Soler (Movistar)|
|5||Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)|
|6||Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|7||Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)|
|8||Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||Sergio Henao (Team Sky)|
|10||Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)|