Olav Kooij wins on the fifth stage of Paris-Nice, David Gaudu returns to six seconds behind Tadej Pogacar
The day after the crazy stage concluded by the takeover of Tadej Pogacar, the organization…
The day after the crazy stage concluded by the takeover of Tadej Pogacar, the organization of the riders of Paris-Nice was less put to the test this Thursday. As expected, it was the sprinters who celebrated during the fifth stage. Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) won ahead of Dane Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Belgian Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quick Step) at Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.
The Dutchman, 21, already second at Fontainebleau during the second stage, takes his first victory of the season. Not destabilized by the kilometer shot attempted by the Briton Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers), he first followed in the wheel of Mads Pedersen before overtaking him 300 meters from the line. Bryan Coquard (Cofidis), first Frenchman, finished sixth and Hugo Page (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) ninth.
Gaudu takes time
The breakaway, which started from the first kilometer, made up of Frenchman Sandy Dujardin (Total Energies) and Dane Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X Pro) was beneficial for the latter who consolidated his lead in the climbers’ classification. He decided to get up after the first three difficulties of the day despite a lead of 5’30. The peloton then quickly caught up with the Frenchman after 122 kilometers at the head of the race, including 72 solo.
Between this regrouping and the finish, there was first the intermediate sprint, at the top of the Col de Devès, 52 kilometers from the end. The opportunity to see that the hatchet is well and truly buried between David Gaudu and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ). The second worked for its leader by locking up Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) who thus had to settle for third place. By taking the lead, David Gaudu was able to regain four seconds in the yellow jersey. He is only six seconds behind the Slovenian in the general classification.
Pedersen recovers the green jersey
In addition to these few seconds lost, Tadej Pogacar drops the points classification jersey. It’s Mads Pedersen, second in the stage, who wears green with 36 points. The winner of the day, Olav Kooij climbs on the second step of the podium (34 points) and is ahead of the yellow jersey (31 points).
On Friday, the stage between Tourves and La Colle-sur-Loup (197 km) promises to be lively. Several difficulties are on the program, the Tuilières coast (2.3 km at 7.8%), the Callian coast (2 km at 6.9%), the Cabris coast (5.3 km at 5.8% ) and the coast of La Colle-sur-Loup (1.8 km at 10%) and certainly a new showdown between leaders.