Paris-Nice: Cousin wins stage 5 in Sisteron

Direct Energie's Jerome Cousin claimed a cagey victory in stage 5 of Paris-Nice, playing a smart strategic finale with breakaway companion Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin). With the peloton charging behind, Cousin calmly waited until the final 200 metres to make his move, powering to the line well ahead of the German.

The sprint was led home just four seconds later, with André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) taking third.

Race leader Luis Leon Sánchez (Astana) maintained his position on the stage, while Cousin's day-long efforts in the breakaway also earned him the polka dot jersey for taking the mountains classification lead. Sánchez leads Wout Poels (Team Sky) in the overall by 15 seconds, with Quick-Step Floors' Julian Alaphilippe and Movistar's Marc Soler another 11 seconds back.

"I had cramps towards the end," Cousin said. "The goal was to go for the breakaway and take the KOM jersey. I did not spare my efforts and we had a tacit agreement that if I went for the climbs they would leave me alone on the flat. Now when I saw that the victory was possible I worked hard to go after the Katusha rider and I played with his balls a little. That's the way I won. I'm so generous in my efforts all year and I was beaten in similar circumstances so many times before that I decided to maneuver differently for once and see if it worked. I didn't steal this.

"Last year I raced for only 30 days," Cousin said. "It's a great comeback. We've now won two stages, It's important for the team, but I must recover because I'm also supposed to be helping Lilian Calmejane make it into the top 10."

How it Unfolded

The 165km stage from Salon-de-Provence to Sisteron looked on paper like another likely day for the sprinters. The race included four categorised climbs, but with the final climb, the category 3 agent of Cote de la Marquise, topping out 13km from the finish, the sprinters' teams had this day marked down as another opportunity.

Those plans were laid to rest by Cousin and Politt, who bid adieu to the peloton early in the day when they joined Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) off the front. Of the breakaway quartet, El Fares was the best-placed rider in the general classification, sitting in 54th place and 4:04 down on race leader Sánchez.

Cousin won the race to the top of the Pointu, taking seven KOM points for his efforts and giving himself a good shot of taking the jersey by the end of the day. The leaders' advantage swelled to 4:30 near the top of the category 1 Col de Legarde-d'Apt 76.5km into the day, and Cousin again scored maximum points, adding 10 more and taking his tally to a classification-leading 17. He added another point at the top of the penultimate climb of the day, the category 3  Col du Négron, which climbed for 5.9km at an average of three per cent.

From there, the riders faced a long descent to the finale of the stage, which featured a another short climb in the form of the Côte de la Marquise. The leaders hit the finishing circuit together, and with 19km to go they passed the finish line in Sisteron for the first time. Politt, Edet, Cousin, and El Fares came into Sisteron and took the bell with the gap standing at 2:15.

Politt attacked the breakaway with 15km to go, leaving his three former escapee partners to try and drag him back. Cousin attacked the chasing trio on the drag up to de la Marquise and was able to bridge to Politt just short of the final KOM, where he added a few more points to his tally.

Politt and Cousin then took the final descent together, with Politt supplying most of the power as Cousin ignored his pleas to come forward. Politt attacked several more times but could not jettison Cousin, and they came into the final kilometre together.

Politt jumped first, but his power was depleted by that point, and Cousin easily countered the move, leaving Politt in his wake as the German shook his head in disgust.

Courtesy of our partners Prendas Ciclismo, we are giving away a free jersey from their retro collection. To win, all you need to do is click HERE and vote for your favourite jersey. Entries close next week

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie3:57:25
2Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:02
3André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:00:04
4Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 4 - Cell 2
6Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-ScottRow 6 - Cell 2
8Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 7 - Cell 2
9Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 8 - Cell 2
10Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 9 - Cell 2
11Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 10 - Cell 2
12Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 12 - Cell 2
14Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 13 - Cell 2
15Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 15 - Cell 2
17Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 16 - Cell 2
18Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 18 - Cell 2
20Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 19 - Cell 2
21Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 20 - Cell 2
22David De La Cruz (Spa) Team SkyRow 21 - Cell 2
23Brenton Jones (Aus) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 22 - Cell 2
24Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 23 - Cell 2
25Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 24 - Cell 2
26Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 28 - Cell 2
30Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 29 - Cell 2
31Diego Rosa (Ita) Team SkyRow 30 - Cell 2
32Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 31 - Cell 2
33Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 34 - Cell 2
36Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 35 - Cell 2
37Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 36 - Cell 2
38Dan Martin (Irl) UAE Team EmiratesRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 39 - Cell 2
41Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 40 - Cell 2
42Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 41 - Cell 2
43Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:13
44Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-ScottRow 44 - Cell 2
46Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 46 - Cell 2
48Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 48 - Cell 2
50Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:16
51Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:18
53Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team0:00:21
54Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 53 - Cell 2
55Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 54 - Cell 2
56Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 56 - Cell 2
58Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 57 - Cell 2
59Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 58 - Cell 2
60Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 59 - Cell 2
61Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 60 - Cell 2
62Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:00:26
64Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 63 - Cell 2
65Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 67 - Cell 2
69Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 68 - Cell 2
70Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-JumboRow 69 - Cell 2
71Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 71 - Cell 2
73Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 72 - Cell 2
74Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 73 - Cell 2
75Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team SunwebRow 74 - Cell 2
76Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 76 - Cell 2
78Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:40
79Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data0:00:45
80Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:19
81Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida0:01:21
82Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:37
83Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:44
84Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 83 - Cell 2
85Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:57
86Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:01
87David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky0:02:06
88Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:09
89Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:02:38
90Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:43
91Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:02:48
92Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 91 - Cell 2
93Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:02:54
94Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:19
95Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ0:03:43
96Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJRow 95 - Cell 2
97Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 96 - Cell 2
98Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:03:51
99Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:04:26
100Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb0:05:11
101Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 100 - Cell 2
102Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:07:41
103Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 102 - Cell 2
104Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 104 - Cell 2
106Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 105 - Cell 2
107Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 106 - Cell 2
108Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 107 - Cell 2
109Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 108 - Cell 2
110Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 109 - Cell 2
111Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 110 - Cell 2
112Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team0:09:10
113Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 112 - Cell 2
114Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 113 - Cell 2
115Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 115 - Cell 2
117Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 116 - Cell 2
118Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:09:38
119Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data0:11:36
120Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team EmiratesRow 119 - Cell 2
121Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 120 - Cell 2
122Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension DataRow 121 - Cell 2
123Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 122 - Cell 2
124Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 123 - Cell 2
125Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 124 - Cell 2
126Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 125 - Cell 2
127Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 126 - Cell 2
128Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 127 - Cell 2
129Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 128 - Cell 2
130John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 129 - Cell 2
131Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 130 - Cell 2
132Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 131 - Cell 2
133Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 132 - Cell 2
134Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 133 - Cell 2
135Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 135 - Cell 2
137Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJRow 136 - Cell 2
138Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
140Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 139 - Cell 2
141Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 140 - Cell 2
142Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 141 - Cell 2
143Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:11:44
DNSMarco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 143 - Cell 2
DNSMaxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 144 - Cell 2
DNSLars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 145 - Cell 2
DNSDylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFAmund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-JumboRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFEdward Theuns (Bel) Team SunwebRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 149 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Revest-du-Bion, km. 94.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin3pts
2Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Sisteron, km. 156
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin3pts
2Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie15pts
2Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin12Row 1 - Cell 3
3André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Col du Pointu (Cat. 2) km. 49
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie7pts
2Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Col de Lagarde-d'Apt (Cat. 1) km. 76.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie10pts
2Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal1Row 6 - Cell 3
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Col du Négron (Cat. 3) km. 106
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie4pts
2Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Côte de la Marquise (Cat. 3) km. 152
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jerome Cousin (Fra) Direct Energie4pts
2Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin3:57:27
2Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team0:00:02
3Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 2 - Cell 2
4Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 3 - Cell 2
5Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 4 - Cell 2
6Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 6 - Cell 2
8Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 7 - Cell 2
9Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 9 - Cell 2
11Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 11 - Cell 2
13Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team SunwebRow 13 - Cell 2
15Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:01:42
16Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:02:52
17Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:03:49
18Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:09
19Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:07:39
20Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:09:08
21Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:11:34
22Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:11:42
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Direct Energie11:52:23
2Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:04
3Team SunwebRow 2 - Cell 2
4Team SkyRow 3 - Cell 2
5Bahrain-MeridaRow 4 - Cell 2