Sagan attacks to take his second Paris-Nice stage
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Sagan attacks to take his second Paris-Nice stage

by VeloNation Press at 11:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Paris-Nice

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan (Liquigas) took another incredible victory in stage five of Paris-Nice today, launching a well timed attack in the final kilometers to take the stage in Aix-en-Provence ahead of Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne). Sagan, the youngest rider in the race at 20 years of age, has been tormenting his elders all week, winning stage three in Aurillac and placing second in stage two the previous day.

"I like to attack on the final hill," said Sagan after the stage, likely too young to realize just what he's just accomplished.  "After my first stage win three television crews went to my house to interview my parents," he laughed.

There was no change in position for the overall contenders with Alberto Contador (Astana) remaining atop the general classification. The Spaniard conceded 4 seconds to Valverde thanks to his time bonus for third, but still trails the two-time Tour de France winner by 20 seconds.

The stage began in Pernes-les-Fontaines, and was the second shortest of the week at 154 kilometers in length. The day was one for the attackers, but with a motivated peloton behind they weren't given any latitude, with all takers being absorbed quickly by the bunch.

With 50 kilometers remaining four riders broke clear including Reine Taaramae (Cofidis), Sylvain Calzati (Team Sky), Volodymir Gustov (Cervelo) and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step). At one point the quartet's lead gave Taarame the virtual leader's jersey, but a concerted effort by the French AG2r team continued to close the gap to set up Irishman Nicolas Roche.

AG2r's team director Vincent Lavenu told France Television his team’s move had been planned: “We saw this morning in the briefing that this was a good place to form an echelon. The goal was to put Nicolas Roche or Christophe Riblon in a good position and to give the team confidence for the rest of the season."

Race leader Alberto Contador's Astana team benefited from the AG2r team's efforts, which managed to split the peloton in two. Contador himself showed no signs of weakness, but the jury is still out on his team, who left the Spaniard isolated for the finish. Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Sandy Casar were all caught out by the French team and were left behind in the trailing group.

With two kilometers to go Christophe Le Mevel (Francaise des Jeux) attacked the front group, but Sagan countered the Frenchman and rode straight past him to take his second win in three days.

Saturday's sixth stage is the longest of the event, a 220km stretch from Peynier to Tourrettes-sur-Loup.

Paris-Nice stage five results:
1. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo)  03.34.15
2. Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre-Farnese Vini) @ 2s
3. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) s.t.
4. Matthieu Ladagnous (Francaise des Jeux)
5. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
6. Simon Gerrans (Team Sky)
7. Koldo Fernandez (Euskatltel-Euskadi)
8. Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale)
9. Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia)
10. Alberto Contador (Astana)

General classification after stage five:
1. Alberto Contador (Astana) 20:41:40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) @ 0:20
3. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) @ 0:25
4. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) @ 0:26
5. Samuel Sanchez (Euskatltel-Euskadi) @ 0:29
6. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) @ 0:34
7. Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) @ 0:36
8. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) @ 0:42
9. David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) @ 1:02
10. Rein Taaramäe (Cofidis, le crédit en ligne) @ 1:06


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