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Roy attacks for first pro win

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Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux)

Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) (Image credit: AFP)
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Sylvain Chavanel was well protected by Quick Step

Sylvain Chavanel was well protected by Quick Step (Image credit: AFP)
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Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) gets the stage win with a courageous attack with more than 5km to go.

Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) gets the stage win with a courageous attack with more than 5km to go. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) leads the day's successful breakaway ahead of Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) and Jeremy Roy (FdJ)

Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) leads the day's successful breakaway ahead of Tony Martin (Columbia-Highroad) and Jeremy Roy (FdJ) (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) gives the thumbs up after scoring a big win in stage five.

Jérémy Roy (Française des Jeux) gives the thumbs up after scoring a big win in stage five. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) congratulates Roy on his way up to get the yellow jersey.

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) congratulates Roy on his way up to get the yellow jersey. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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A third yellow jersey for Sylvain Chavanel.

A third yellow jersey for Sylvain Chavanel. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) always had a teammate nearby.

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) always had a teammate nearby. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Sylvain Chavanel was well protected by Quick Step and kept hold of the yellow jersey on a mountainous stage five.

Sylvain Chavanel was well protected by Quick Step and kept hold of the yellow jersey on a mountainous stage five. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The grapevines are still in 'winter mode' at this time of year in France.

The grapevines are still in 'winter mode' at this time of year in France. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Jérémy Roy remains focused as he heads towards his first pro win.

Jérémy Roy remains focused as he heads towards his first pro win. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The leading trio makes its way to Vallon-Pont-d'Arc.

The leading trio makes its way to Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Française des Jeux's Jérémy Roy proved his worth as a winner today, with a commanding performance.

Française des Jeux's Jérémy Roy proved his worth as a winner today, with a commanding performance. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The trio had plenty of TV time and made the most of it, fighting it out for the win.

The trio had plenty of TV time and made the most of it, fighting it out for the win. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Tony Martin proved he's got a diesel engine doing the lion's share of the work on the front.

Tony Martin proved he's got a diesel engine doing the lion's share of the work on the front. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Quick Step stacks the front in defence of the race lead.

Quick Step stacks the front in defence of the race lead. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Race leader Sylvain Chavanel is tucked up nicely in the Quick Step womb.

Race leader Sylvain Chavanel is tucked up nicely in the Quick Step womb. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Go Jérémy, go! Roy powers to the line in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc.

Go Jérémy, go! Roy powers to the line in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Tony Martin leads Voeckler but finished the day in third.

Tony Martin leads Voeckler but finished the day in third. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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And with plenty of time to spare...

And with plenty of time to spare... (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Roy was able to celebrate...

Roy was able to celebrate... (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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His first pro win. A great day for Française des Jeux.

His first pro win. A great day for Française des Jeux. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Then it was left to Murilo Fischer and Romain Feillu to fight it out for the scraps.

Then it was left to Murilo Fischer and Romain Feillu to fight it out for the scraps. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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A jubilant Jérémy Roy celebrates on the podium.

A jubilant Jérémy Roy celebrates on the podium. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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After securing his first pro win Jérémy Roy was all smiles.

After securing his first pro win Jérémy Roy was all smiles. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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New King of the Mountains, Tony Martin deserved his classification lead after a day of hard work.

New King of the Mountains, Tony Martin deserved his classification lead after a day of hard work. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Thomas Voeckler rides the lonely road of a small breakaway.

Thomas Voeckler rides the lonely road of a small breakaway. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Columbia-Highroad's Tony Martin showed his class today, helping keep the break ahead of the peloton.

Columbia-Highroad's Tony Martin showed his class today, helping keep the break ahead of the peloton. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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It was Jérémy Roy, however who made it matter at the end of the day.

It was Jérémy Roy, however who made it matter at the end of the day. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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While Quick Step was busy patrolling the front of the peloton...

While Quick Step was busy patrolling the front of the peloton... (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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The Astana crew was ensuring Alberto Contador avoided trouble.

The Astana crew was ensuring Alberto Contador avoided trouble. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Jen Voigt (Saxo Bank) was keeping it relaxed in the bunch.

Jen Voigt (Saxo Bank) was keeping it relaxed in the bunch. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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A bit barren now but wait until a couple of months' time.

A bit barren now but wait until a couple of months' time. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)
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Sprint leader Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre) was hanging out the back for a while.

Sprint leader Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre) was hanging out the back for a while. (Image credit: Florian & Susanne Schaaf/cyclingpictures.de)

Jérémy Roy of Française Des Jeux des Jeux took his first professional win a day after finishing last, attacking out of an escape group with 6.7km to go to take the fifth stage of Paris-Nice. He took advantage of the bluffing of his two companions, Tony Martin of Columbia-Highroad and Thomas Voeckler of Bbox Bouygues Telecom, who were more concerned with each other than with the Frenchman. Voeckler came back to finish in the same time as the winner, with Martin trailing three seconds down.

There was no change in the overall ranking, as Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) defended his leader's jersey. The peloton came in 2:33 later.

The overjoyed winner could hardly believe his luck. "My god, when I compare this to last year..." the 25-year-old Frenchman said. Even the comparison to the previous stage is worth making: he finished absolutely last in the fourth stage, over 11 minutes down. "I decided to save strength for today's stage," Roy wrote on his website, which proved to be the right decision.

"I was last yesterday but I hung on," Roy told the Reuters agency. "Today, on the first climb, I was almost dropped. Then, towards the end, I benefited from the mind games between them [Voeckler and Martin]. It's a dream."

Breaking out to the win

The day was dominated by a three-man escape group which got away early. Martin (Columbia-Highroad) apparently didn't have enough after his break yesterday, so he took off at km 13, followed by Roy and Voeckler.

Martin climbed into the King of the Mountains jersey by taking maximum points at each of the seven ranked climbs on the day. Although better known as a time trialist, he has good credentials as a climber. "He's not Richard Virenque but he can climb pretty well," said Columbia Directeur Sportif Brian Holm "He won a couple of mountain jerseys in the amateur ranks."

The trio built up lead of over six minutes, and the peloton left it too late to catch them on the rolling second half of the stage. Even when it was clear that there was no chance of setting up a mass sprint, the peloton didn't relax, but kept on going to cut the lead to just over two and a half minutes at the end.

The stage ended with a 25 km circuit, and the three leaders stayed together for most of it. Voeckler and Martin tried various times to attack, but were never able to get away. The two were obviously so focused on each other that they downplayed the chances of the third man in the group, Roy.

Roy attacked with 7km to go, and his two breakaway companions let him go, preferring to eyeball each other and wait for someone else to take off first in pursuit. By the time they realized their bluffing wasn't working it was too late. Roy raised in arms in ecstasy as he crossed the finish line. Voeckler came across close behind him, while Martin relaxed in the final meters to finish third.

The peloton came in 2:33 later, with Cervélo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler leading the pack over the finish line.

A number of riders put an end to their Paris-Nice today, with Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas) and Inigo Cuesta (Cervélo TestTeam) not starting. During the stage, Steven Cozza of Garmin-Slipstream became the third of his team to drop out, and he was joined by Brian Vandborg of Liquigas and Philippe Gilbert of Silence-Lotto.

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