Paris-Nice, after four high-level stages, with the Pogacar-Vingegaard duel as the star dish, On this fifth day, it was a calm, placid day (within what is demanding of traveling 212 km at the highest level) for the favorites for the general classification and, although the route invited a possible successful day for a getaway, everything was resolved in a flash after meeting the worst expected arrival time. In it, the Jumbo sprinter, Olav Kooij, was the strongest, thus giving the Dutch team its second victory in just over an hour after Primoz Roglic did the same in Tirreno-Adriatico. Pedersen and Merlier seconded the Dutchman, con Max Kanter, from Movistar, in fifth position. In the general, without changes of positions, with Pogacar leading…even though his rent decreased.
53 km from the finish line of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, an intermediate sprint took place in the town of Col du Deves. In the previous days, Tadej Pogacar scratched some important seconds at this pointbut this time he saw how Groupama was perfectly organized so that it was the Slovenian who suffered. Gaudu, second overall, jumped, while his teammate, the sprinter Demare, lightly torpedoed Pogacar, Enough so that the UAE man could not cross said intermediate sprint in first position. Six seconds for Gaudu and two for Pogacar, so four cut and the general is still in a handkerchief before the decisive weekend.
Sandy Dujardin was the only escapee of the day, and the Frenchman was awarded the most combative, an award that this Thursday had no discussion despite being neutralized 90 km from the finish line. The peloton took a little breather today and Kooij (and Gaudu at a lower level) was the happiest of the day. “I had a few wins last season, but this is definitely the best,” said the 21-year-old., which already has 16 wins, although this was the first in the World Tour category. However, the Jumbo do not have among his plans to take the Dutchman to any grand tour in 2023, something that proved not to be to his liking, but that gives him extra motivation for volatas like Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux. In fact, a final roundabout left some sprinters off balance, but it was not the case of a happy Kooij. This Friday, Medium mountain day with five ascents (mixed 3rd and 2nd) and 197 km ending in La Colle-sur-Loup.
Classification of the fifth stage
1st Olav Kooij (PBa/Jumbo) 5h 19:34
2nd Mads Pedersen (DIN/Trek) mt
3rd Tim Merlier (BÉL/Quick Step) mt
1º Tadej Pogacar (UAE) – 17h 14:52
2nd David Gaudu (Groupama) – at 6″
3rd Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) – 46″
12th Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) 2:02