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Live coverage

Paris - Nice 2015: Stage 5

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 5 of Paris-Nice from Saint-Étienne to Rasteau.

To bring you right up to speed with today's action, we have a break of five riders up the road: 1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale Garmin), Egor Selin (Katusha) and Pawel Poljanski ( Tinkoff-Saxo). After 78 km of racing, they have a gap of 3:25 over the peloton.

De Gendt is currently leading the KOM and he picked up the first climb of the day. With three more smaller climbs between now and the finish his motives are clear. Talansky is a surprise though. He lost time to his GC rivals yesterday in the first summit finish after a late puncture and he was unable to respond when the attacks followed.

A reminder of where we stand on GC coming into the stage, and Talansky is moving himself back into consideration with this current attack but there's still over 100km of racing to cover and little chance that the peloton will let the move survive. At the moment it's Etixx on the front and setting the pace.

 

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 19:44:11
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:01
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
6 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:38
7 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:00:41
8 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:44
9 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha 0:00:50
10 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:00:51

 

104km remaining from 192km

At the intermediate sprint it's Sicard first, followed by De Gendt and then Talansky. The gap is at 3:25 with 104km left to race.

The current situation puts Talansky, last year's Dauphine winner, as the virtual leader on the road by 13 seconds.

We're about 25km away from the next climb, the third category Col du Devès.

Today should be one for the sprinters to shine on but there's the Côte de Buisson, a third cat climb inside the final 10 kilometers. Riders such as Michael Matthews and John Degenklob will look to drop a few of the weaker sprinters at that point - should the break be caught, of course.

80km remaining from 192km

We're into the final 80km of racing and the Etixx squad still lead the peloton with Team Sky just to their left wing.

The British team were a dominant force yesterday with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas dropping the rest of the field to take an impressive 1-2. It means Porte is second in GC and is probably the favourite to repeat his 2013 win in the race. Kwiatkowski is no slouch but does he have the team to help him once the road points upwards?

The five leaders are almost onto the lower slopes of the Col du Devès with the peloton still at 3:35.

Onto the climb and the leaders have edged further ahead, drawing their lead out to 3:50.

It's De Gendt who set the pace in the KOM jersey as he looks to extend his lead in that competition over Gilbert, who isn't in the break.

De Gendt goes over the top in first place as further down the road Etixx continue to set the pace at the front of the peloton.

Talansky is on the back of the leading break and is calling for his team car. Etixx are now on the descent of the climb and the sprinters' teams will surely get involved in the chase inside the next 30km.

Away from this race, Chris Froome has given an interview (via email) to CN. You can read it here.

While Specialized have been showing off Alberto Contador's new bike. The gallery and text for that is here.

The break have lost 30 seconds and with 58km to go it's all starting to come back together. This is the last chance for the sprinters in the race so the break were always up against it. We see Cofidis on the front, well one man, with Bouhanni still looking for his first win of the season. The Frenchman really needs to take something from this year's race.

The Côte de l'Aleyrac is next and it's a second cat climb. There could be an opportunity for the peloton to split on that climb. Even though it's a long way from the finish it could cause a number of the sprinters some problems. The pace has really jumped up in the last few minutes.

51km remaining from 192km

Gilbert has dropped back to the cars to pick up a drink. Just one mind, as the leaders hold a three minute buffer over the peloton.

A banged and bruised Barguil sits at the back of the peloton, still recovering after his spill earlier in the race.

 

At the front of the peloton Talansky sets the pace for the break, the lead at 2'55 with 47km to go.

We're onto the Côte de l'Aleyrac and interestingly Cannondale have moved up alongside Etixx near the front of the peloton. They're not setting the pace but they look to be keeping someone in contention. Possibly Slagter.

Cofidis still have one man on the front with a gaggle of Etixx riders just behind the lone man in red.

Wiggins leads Team Sky up towards the front with Porte and Thomas tucked in. The break are holding their own at the moment, 2:55 with the summit of the climb 1km away.

And De Gendt cleans up at the top of the climb, with Talansky in second place. Still just one Cofidis rider on the front of the peloton at the moment.

Tony Martin hits the front of the peloton and the gap comes down to 2:05 almost instantly.

A long flat section for the break and this is where the bunch can really start to chip away at the 2:00 advantage. However the opposite has happened, mainly as the peloton ease up or a moment. Talansky, once again back with the Garmin team car as Silin sits on the front and sets the pace.

Cofidis have doubled their number on the front with two men riding tempo for Bouhanni. Trek are also moving up.

And there's a crash in the main field.

Most of the field are held up but everyone seems to be up. Vichot is limping but is now back on his bike.

Trek with two men on the front of the peloton with Nizzolo their option should the stage be decided in a sprint finish. And with the crash there's a lot of splits in the peloton.

All the main favourites seem to be in first peloton as more and more riders try and chase back from that crash.

29km remaining from 192km

29km to go and the gap is at 2:05.

And Slagter is off the back. He was Cannondale's best placed rider in GC. Cofidis and Trek are on the front and they're not waiting for riders to regain contact after that earlier crash. 26km to go and the gap is still 2:00.

Sky, Trek, Cofidis and BMC all near the front as they start to prepare for the run into the final climb of the race.

We're now 20km from the finish with the break racing flat out but the gap back down to 1:30. They would need well over a minute before the final climb but that's unlikely to happen as we see Matthews chug down a gel near the back of the field.

The trio of Wiggins, Porte, and Thomas muscle their way to the front, with a long line of BMC men to their right. Astana are also in the mix with around 8km to go until the start of the final climb.

A huge turn of speed from Wiggins and he has the entire peloton lined out with the gap at 1:00 and 15km to go.

Knees takes over from Wiggins briefly as Team Sky continue to increase the pressure.

De Gendt increases the pace and it stretches out the rest of the break. The five leaders have 45 seconds with 11km to go. They'll make it to the bottom of the climb. Just.

Greipel is near the back of the peloton but his team are on the front at the moment.

10km to go and the leaders are on the final climb with 40 seconds over the peloton and De Gendt is doing all the work.

Etixx are back on the front of the peloton as they reach the bottom of the ascent as well.

It's a short climb 1.5km in length as Wiggins sits up, having down his work for the day.

Sicard misses a turn and is starting to struggle.

And Sicard has been dropped. 9km to go.

It's just De Gendt doing all the work and Poljanski is dropped now.

35 second gap and now Talansky is the one suffering.

Luke Rowe sets the pace for the peloton, the gap still at 35 seconds.

It's BMC who take up the pace setting now with 7,2km to go. The climb is done with and it's still De Gendt on the front with just Talansky and Silin for company.

Who will bring the break back? BMC are on the front but here come Orica GreenEdge with Matthews well in contention with 5km go to and the gap at 25 seconds.

And De Gendt attacks on the flat, from the font and he's dropped Talansky.

Silin has managed to keep up with the Lotto rider. 3.3km to and the gap is at 30 seconds.

The bunch are going to struggle to bring this back together. It's 3km to go and the gap is still at 30 seconds.

Silin takes a turn and Giant are tying to help with the chase and there's a crash. It's Schar who is down but at least he's sitting up.

Orica, Team Sky, and Giant on the front and the gap is down to 22 seconds with 2.2km to go.

Demare and Greipel are there. So his Bouhanni and the gap is down to 10 seconds with 1.7km to go. Talansky caught by the peloton.

1km to go and De Gendt goes on his own once more.

So many broken trains are still trying to bring the Lotto rider back. Into the final 500m and De Gendt is fading.

FDJ catch him.

Coquard goes early.

The Frenchman has a small gap but will it be enough?

Cimolai is on the Frenchman's wheel. Matthews there too.

Cimolai comes around the right side of Coquard and he takes the win. A win for Lampre.

A perfectly times move from Cimolai, latching onto Coquard's wheel and then coming through inside the final few meters.

1 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida 4:12:09
2 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
7 Matti Breschel (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
8 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
9 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling

General classification after stage 5

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step 23:56:20
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:01
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27
5 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
6 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:38
7 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:00:41
8 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:44
9 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha 0:00:50
10 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:00:51

A thrilling end to stage 5 at Paris-Nice with De Gendt almost holding off the entire peloton but in the end the sprinters had their day with Cimolai coming out on top. You can find our results, photos, and report, right here.

Thanks for joining us today. You can pick up the final stages of Tirreno action, here.

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