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63rd Paris-Nice - ProTour 2005: Stage 5

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Welcome to Cyclingnews for our continued live coverage of Paris-Nice,

An update on the race so far:

122km remaining from 184km

The four man breakaway now has 5'00 lead on the Fassa Bortolo led peloton. Illes

125km remaining from 184km

The four leaders have been pegged back to 4'45. Jalabert is the virtual leader

131km remaining from 184km

Cyclingnews spoke to Jens Voigt (CSC) before the stage this morning, and the

133km remaining from 184km

The peloton is in full chase mode now, as Liberty moves back to the front. The

137km remaining from 184km

The break is powering along, with all four men taking hard turns. It's a bit

138km remaining from 184km

We spoke to Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears) this morning, and he told us,

141km remaining from 184km

The leaders are now flying on the descent towards the Cat. 3 c

143km remaining from 184km

Liberty is really eating into this lead. 3'15 and falling fast. T-Mobile has

144km remaining from 184km

Hulsmans flies past the Liberty train on the descent, but it's not an attack.

146km remaining from 184km

Fritsch rides at the front in his bright yellow Saunier Duval jersey. It's a

147km remaining from 184km

Fritsch takes the points at the top (uncontested) ahead of Serpellini and Jalabert.

The peloton is shedding riders on the climb. Rogers is dropped - he's obviously

Igor Gonzalez attacks! Interesting tactic by Liberty.

148km remaining from 184km

Igor gets a bit of a gap as he powers away on this short climb, but there is

151km remaining from 184km

Davitamon-Lotto has now taken over the chasing, trying to set up Merckx who

152km remaining from 184km

Jaksche and Kirchen are moving up to the front of the bunch, as the four leaders

153km remaining from 184km

Fritsch is once again setting the pace on the climb, looking quite good.

De Weert has 15 seconds, putting him 1'28 behind the four leaders. The young

154km remaining from 184km

Jaan Kirsipuu is dropped, and he's not coming back today. Yesterday he rode

154km remaining from 184km

Fritsch leads the break over the top of the climb, still looking good. Serpellini

156km remaining from 184km

Vansummeren and Evans are on the front of the peloton, which is getting rid

The leaders are now on the Cat. 2 Col du Corps-de-Garde, which comes right after

158km remaining from 184km

The thinned down bunch is now being towed by Thomas Dekker the Younger, in pursuit

This climb is only 1.8 km at 5.4% - a bit soft for a Cat. 2, but it is early

159km remaining from 184km

Erik Dekker punctures - very bad timing. He gets a wheel from a teammate and

Fritsch leads the break on the climb, putting Hayman in difficulties. The Australian

Axel Merckx attacks the peloton! There's a reaction as a Credit Agricole rider

160km remaining from 184km

Merckx is joined by Kashechkin and a Saunier rider - is that Zaballa? He takes

This descent is very technical, and Dekker might be able to get the bunch before

161km remaining from 184km

Serpellini leads on the descent. Fritsch is now last wheel, having problems

162km remaining from 184km

This descent is incredibly technical. Dekker is making up ground and is at the

163km remaining from 184km

The gap is 30 seconds between the break and the peloton as it nears the bottom

164km remaining from 184km

Fritsch is still chasing the three leaders. He can climb a lot better than he

Merckx is in third wheel behind Osa and Valverde in the peloton. Then two Saunier

166km remaining from 184km

Fritsch is still chasing the leaders, gradually closing the gap to JaJa, Serpellini

167km remaining from 184km

The leaders hit the foot of the climb with an 18 second advantage. Fritsch is

167km remaining from 184km

The first acceleration is made by a Saunier rider. Jaksche marks him, looking

The peloton is about 25 men as it hits the first bend. Jaksche hammers with

168km remaining from 184km

Moncouti

168km remaining from 184km

Jaksche closes the gap to Contador with Voigt on his wheel. Evans is in fourth

169km remaining from 184km

Contador's acceleration is really doing some damage and we have Jaksche, Voigt,

Popovych and Vino are dropped as Jaksche and Voigt continue to sit behind Contador.

Vino is riding at his own tempo. It's not going to be his stage today.

170km remaining from 184km

The lead group has: Voigt, Jaksche, Contador, Evans, Rebellin, Simoni, Piepoli,

170km remaining from 184km

Simoni takes over from Gomez and puts time into the Spaniard. But the Saunier

171km remaining from 184km

Simoni accelerates and drops Gomez. In the bunch, there is also some action

Simoni is alone as Gomez can't hang on. In the bunch, Voigt is in trouble. Julich

171km remaining from 184km

Gilberto Simoni is realising the benefits of a solid early season racing program

Gibo Simoni has less than 1 km to go and looks to have this stage won. Gomez

172km remaining from 184km

Simoni is suffering, but he still looks to have it under control. He looks back

172km remaining from 184km

Gomez grits his teeth, trying to hold onto second place as the next group draws

Gomez is caught, and it's Evans second ahead of Moncouti

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