The Cervélo TestTeam pulled its sprinter Heinrich Haussler back to within one point of recapturing the green jersey of the points classification in Paris-Nice stage five. Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre-NGC) took over the lead in that competition in St. Etienne, but lost the better part of his advantage over Haussler with a ninth place finish Thursday.
Cervélo's directeur sportif Jean-Paul van Poppel said the team "survived" the 204-kilometre day which saw a breakaway of three riders keep 2:33 on the peloton at the line.
"Jeremy Roy, Tony Martin and Thomas Voeckler broke away at kilometre 13 and they had a maximum gap of three minutes. After a while, we started chasing with Quick Step for our sprinter Heinrich Haussler.
"With 20 kilometres to go, we saw that we weren't going make it and put our lead-out rider Hayden Roulston into the chase. But then Heinrich had a puncture and we had to stop to chase. When our riders were back in the peloton there was a crash and Heinrich lost his chain. So we realised that we would have to sprint for the fourth place.
"Heinrich did it easy, and is within one point of the green jersey leader. Tomorrow is another hard day, so we do it easy. On the weekend we want to test the riders for Milano-Sanremo to see how the legs are going."