photo cremst @ Le Tour
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) timed his move to perfection to claim a textbook bunch sprint during stage 5 of Paris-Nice in Bourg-de-Peage today.
The German champion, who was previously crowned stage winner during the 2015 race, waited for the last minute to open up his sprint to upstage stage 1 winner Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Meanwhile, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) retained his grip on the yellow jersey, with a 33-second lead over compatriot Tony Gallopin ahead of three grueling hilly stages this weekend.
Riders faced a 199.5 kilometer stage from Quince-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Peage, which featured two category climbs before reaching a flat finish.
Axel Dumont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Natal Berhane (Dimension Data), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo Vital Concept), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), Federico Zurlo (UAE-Team Emirates) and Remy di Gregorio (Delko-Marseille), marked the day’s first breakaway group which got underway during the first 10 kilometers.
From there, the escapees went on to establish an advantage of around five minutes over the peloton, that would prevail for most of stage until they were caught by the peloton during the last 10 kilometers.
Katusha-Alpecin, FDJ and Team Sky took over the reins from there, ushering their respective sprinters into place.
Groenewegen was the first rider to open up his sprint, but a patient Greipel timed his final surge to perfection, as the German powerhouse was able to hold off his rivals to claim the stage honors.
Meanwhile, Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) finished in fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Stage 5 Results
GER 1 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL) 4:43:35
FRA 2 DEMARE, Arnaud (FDJ)
NED 3 GROENEWEGEN, Dylan (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
AUS 4 MATTHEWS, Michael James (SUNWEB)
GER 5 DEGENKOLB, John (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
DEN 6 NIELSEN, Magnus Cort (ORICA – SCOTT)
GER 7 KITTEL, Marcel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
FRA 8 COQUARD, Bryan (DIRECT ENERGIE)
ITA 9 COLBRELLI, Sonny (BAHRAIN – MERIDA)
IRL 10 BENNETT, Sam (BORA – HANSGROHE)
ITA 11 SBARAGLI, Kristian (DIMENSION DATA)
BEL 12 NAESEN, Oliver (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
GBR 13 SWIFT, Ben (UAE Team Emirates)
GBR 14 MCLAY, Daniel (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT)
KAZ 15 TLEUBAYEV, Ruslan (ASTANA)
LTU 16 SISKEVICIUS, Evaldas (DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM)
NOR 17 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
FRA 18 SOUPE, Geoffrey (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
FRA 19 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
FRA 20 LAPORTE, Christophe (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
RUS 21 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN)
FRA 22 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL)
FRA 23 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ)
BEL 24 KEUKELEIRE, Jens (ORICA – SCOTT)
ITA 25 FINETTO, Mauro (DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM)
General Classification after Stage 5
FRA 1 ALAPHILIPPE, Julian (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) 17:20:02
FRA 2 GALLOPIN, Tony (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 33
ESP 3 SOLER GIMENEZ, Marc (MOVISTAR) + 47
COL 4 HENAO MONTOYA, Sergio Luis (SKY) + 1:05
IRL 5 MARTIN, Daniel (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 1:20
BEL 6 GILBERT, Philippe Marc Jacky (QUICK – STEP FLOORS) + 1:24
RUS 7 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA ALPECIN) + 1:28
FRA 8 DEMARE, Arnaud (FDJ) + 1:29
ESP 9 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 1:31
FRA 10 MOLARD, Rudy (FDJ) + 1:32
FRA 11 HARDY, Romain (FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT) + 1:58
BEL 12 LAMPAERT, Yves (QUICK – STEP FLOORS)
ESP 13 IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, Jon (BAHRAIN – MERIDA) + 2:01
SLO 14 KOREN, Kristijan (CANNONDALE DRAPAC) + 2:10
GBR 15 YATES, Simon (ORICA – SCOTT) + 2:16
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