With his eye on the stage victory, Nils Politt put himself in the day’s break, which stayed clear to the finish in stage five of the 76th Paris-Nice on Thursday in Sisteron.
“We knew that in today’s stage the break could come to the finish. First there were three guys for the break. I really wanted to be in the break today so I was the last guy to jump in. I felt really well the whole stage. I tried to attack before the last climb and I had a gap. The guy from Direct Energie came with me but didn’t want to work. He was always staying in the wheel,” said Nils Politt.
‘The guy’ from Direct Energie was Jérôme Cousin who ended up the stage winner just ahead of Politt by 2-seconds. Third place went to André Greipel of Lotto Soudal who led the sprint for the field.
“In the end I decided it was better to take second place than come away with nothing. I tried another attack with 1km to go because I knew he was fast and I wanted to avoid the sprint, but second place, I can be happy with this. There are really good riders here and I think my shape is coming for the classics,” said Politt. At 163.5k, the stage began in Salon-de-Provence.
The race lead after five stages is held by Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana, with 15-seconds in hand to Wout Poels (Team Sky) and 26-seconds to Quick-Steps Julian Alaphilippe.
Tomorrow’s stage 6 at 188k begins in Sisteron and ends in Vence. It includes five rated climbs.
Photos: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images