Trentin sprints to seventh place as the breakaway survives on stage 5 Paris-NiceThu 8 Mar 2018
Matteo Trentin sprinted to seventh place today for Mitchelton-SCOTT on a lumpy stage five in Paris-Nice after two remaining breakaway riders were able to hold off the peloton to take the top two stage placings.
It was touch and go whether the two riders, Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) and Nils Politt (Katusha) would survive to the line as the peloton closed in, but in the end the duo were able to hold off the chase by just four seconds for Cousin to take the victory.
With no significant time gaps, the general classification remains the same with Mitchelton-SCOTT in 10th and 11th place with three hard stages still to come.
In the opening stages of the 165kilometre day, four riders quickly established a lead over the peloton and rode out to a maximum advantage of five minutes 20seconds before the peloton, led by race leaders Astana, gradually closed in on the quartet as they headed over the four categorised climbs of the day.
Finally, two of the breakaway riders, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille) were swallowed up by the bunch on the final climb as Team Sky lifted the tempo but the chase wasn't over as two remained out front.
Close final and crash for Chaves
Coming into the final 10kilometres the duo hovered around 30seconds ahead of the bunch and as the kilometres ticked down, Mitchelton-SCOTT headed to the front and led the chase alongside other teams in the final five kilometres as the pair continued to maintain their small advantage.
With just one kilometre to go, Esteban Chaves, sitting in 10th place on GC, came down in a crash but thankfully was able to continue riding and finish on the same time as the front group with it being within the final three kilometres of the stage.
The team worked to keep Simon Yates towards the front whilst positioning Trentin, who sprinted into seventh place.
Still in contention
With just four seconds separating the main peloton and the race winner, the overall general classification remains the same with Chaves in 10th place and Yates in 11th still at 48seconds behind the race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana).
Matteo Trentin - 7th on stage 5
“I went out of the saddle for the whole sprint and I was closing in on riders slowly but it wasn’t enough to be right up there. I am still happy with the sprint today, I wasn’t feeling so great at the start of the day probably from the time trial still in the legs from yesterday.”
“It is good this week to get the feeling of the sprints again and my feelings are getting better and better each day and also on the last climb I was able to pass guys that have been passing me before, so it is a really good sign for things to come.”
Dave McPartland - Sport Director
“Nothing has changed with the general classification, Esteban crashed in the final but thankfully he is ok and Yates was able to have a relatively easy day.”
“The stage itself was a bit of a shame that it didn’t all come back together, it was only four seconds at the finish but we did everything we could today, it was out of our hands in the finish.”
“The good thing is from the stage is Matteo has had really good sensations since the first day and he felt that he could finally do a good sprint today so things have been improving for him each stage. We’ve still got three hard days to come so the race isn’t over yet.”
Paris-Nice stage five results:
1. Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) 3:57:25
2. Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:02
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
7. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage five:
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) 17:45:26
2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +0:15
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep-Floors) +0:26
10. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:48
Photo courtesy of Getty Images