Jerome Cousin of Direct Energie has won the fifth stage of the 76th Paris-Nice race in France.
Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez was the man in the yellow jersey for this 165km stage from Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) and Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) go away taking a lead of 3.45 after thirty kilometres.
Cousin took the seven points over the Col du Pointu before Dan McLay and Edward Theuns joined the list of those who had abandoned the race which today started without Lars Boom and Dylan Groenewegen.
Cousin added ten KOM points to his total when he was first over the Col de Lagarde d'Apt with Politt taking the intermediate sprint before Cousins was first over the Col du Négron.
With fifty kilometres to go, the quartet out front were still 4.04 ahead were still 2.19 clear going into the finishing circuit of nineteen kilometres.
Politt attacked on the Côte de la Marquise and just beat Cousin over the top as they started to put some distance between themselves and Fares.
They had a lead of 58 seconds with ten kilometres left and six kilometres later with both riders working, they had forty seconds on the pack.
Under the flam rouge and the pair were still clear of the chasing pack. There was a crash with a Cofidis rider hitting a tree but Direct Energie’s Jerome Cousin sprinted and took the win in 3.57.25, two seconds ahead of Politt and four seconds ahead of Andre Greipel.
Luis Leon Sanchez keeps his lead by fifteen seconds from Wout Poels going into stage six.
1. Jérôme Cousin (Direct Energie) in 3h57’25’’
2. Nils Pollit (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 2’’
3. André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) at 4’’
1. Luis León Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) 17h45’26’’
2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) at 15’’
3. Julain Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) at 26’’
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