Pedersen retakes the lead in the points classification after second place in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
How it happened
Stage 5 saw another atypical Paris-Nice stage: no crosswinds and good weather. Whilst on paper Stage 5 could have been carnage, a day long headwind meant was a subdued affair which saw a breakaway of just two riders take off on the opening climb. The sprint teams, including Trek-Segafredo were happy with the scenario, and together kept the two escapees in check, though they had to contend with the headwind which landed in the favor of the peloton. A complete group headed into the last kilometers as Otto Vergaerde, Daan Hoole and Alex Kirsch guided Mads Pedersen into position. The Dane launched his sprint with 200 meters to the line but Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) jumped out of Mads’ slipstream to pass him in the closing meters. A second place finish means that Mads hasn’t finished outside the top three on any of the sprint stages so far (3rd, 1st, 2nd), putting him in the lead in the points competition with three stages left to complete.
“Of course it’s always disappointing to finish second but Kooij came so fast at the end that I was not even thinking at any point that I had this sprint, so congrats to him for the speed he had. On the way out of the roundabout at the end we had a small bit of road furniture and it was a bit messy and I lost Alex Kirsch a little. From there on it was pretty straightforward so no excuses today, I got beaten by a a faster guy.
[A harder day] would have been nicer, it would also have been nice to have a tailwind on the last climber and a tailwind on the way back but if and if and if – today was headwind and that’s it. Maybe I had to launch a little bit earlier than I wanted to, but nothing that would have changed the end result. Kooij was beating me with a bit more than 10cm so it’s clear he was just faster today.”
The day in photos
Photos by Sprint Cycling Agency