Robert Gesink (Netherlands, Rabobank) retains the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Top five placings in the 172.5-kms 5th stage between Althen des Paluds and Sisteron:
1. Carlos Barredo (Spain, Quick Step)
2. Karsten Kroon (Netherlands, CSC)
3. Manuele Mori (Italy, Saunier Duval)
4. Christophe Moreau (France, Agritubel)
5. Pierre Rolland (France, Credit Agricole)
Spain’s Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) wins the 5th stage in Sisteron.
Barredo still leads by 15 seconds with two kilometres to go.
Barredo leads his former companions by 15 seconds with 3 kms left before the line.
Barrredo keeps Moreau, Mori, Rolland and Kroon at bay. He maintains a 10-seconds lead with five kilometres to go. The peloton is 2:45 adrift.
Juan-Antonio Flecha leads the peloton chase with yellow jersey holder Robert Gesink in his wheel.
Barredo is very, very strong today! He attacks twice and finally drops his four companions with 10 kms to go.
The peloton reached the top of the Cote des Marquises 2:25 behind the leaders.
Results at the top of the Cote des Marquises (3rd cat, km 160):
1. Moreau 4 pts
2. Barredo 2 pts
3. Rolland 1 pt
Seven riders 45 seconds behind
The five lead their former breakaway companions by 30 seconds.
Five riders part with the leading bunch : Kroon, Rolland, Mori, Barredo and Moreau.
The peloton trailed the 16 leaders by 2:25 on the first passage on the finishing line (km 154).
Result of the second intermediate sprint in Sisteron (km 154):
1. Lequatre 3 secs and 3 pts
2. Botcharov 2 secs and 2 pts
3. Perget 1 sec and 1 pt
Alexandre Botcharov attempts to part with his 15 companions as the break is entering the finishing circuit in Sisteron.
The chase is gaining momentum and the gap goes down to 2:35 with 23 kms to go.
Km 143 - The lead of the break remains unchanged at around three minutes.
Aware that he can make a crucial progression in the overall standings if the break goes all the way, Barredo is extremely active in the leading group.
Davide Rebellin’s Gerolsteiner team-mates have also decided to take part in the chase and took the baton from the Rabobank riders to try and reduce the gap with the 16 escapees, currently three minutes.
Dutchman Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), who was one of the first riders to attack today and belonged to the leading group, has given up after a crash.
Dutch champion Koos Moerenhout leads the chase, followed by the whole of the Rabobank team.
Km 132 - Barredo has taken the reins in the break, which now leads the peloton by three minutes. The Spaniard is hoping to bridge as much of his 4:07 gap with Robert Gesink as possible.
The average speed after three hours in the stage is 42.5 kph.
Stef Clement, seen attacking from the gun, has been dropped from the leading group which now comprises only 16 riders.
Km 124: The lead of the 17 breakaways reaches 2:30.
Only five teams have not lost any rider since the start of this Paris-Nice in Amilly on Sunday: Rabobank, Quick Step, Cofidis, Lampre and High Road.
Km - The peloton, led by Robert Gesink’s Rabobank team-mates, trail the 17 escapees by 2:05.
France’s Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) has also given up.
Here is the composition of the leading group of 17 riders: David Arroyo (Caisse dâ€™Epargne), Mathieu Perget (GCE), Karsten Kroon (CSC), Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas) Alexandre Botcharov, Simon Gerrans, Pierre Rolland (all Credit Agricole), Benoit Vaugrenard (FDJ), Manuele Mori, Aurelien Passeron (both Saunier Duval), Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), Maxime Monfort (Cofidis), Jose Luis Arrieta (AG2R), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Christophe Moreau, Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez, Geoffroy Lequatre (all Agritubel).
The 17 escapees - Ivan Santaromita joined the break - lead the peloton by 1:25 in the fedding zone (km 82)
Dutchman Tom Stamsnijder (Gerolsteiner) calls it quits.
The 16 escapees lead Ivan Santaromita (Italy, Liquigas) by 15 seconds, the peloton trailing by 1:25.
The leading group includes the following riders : David Arroyo, Mathieu Perget, Karsten Kron, Alexandre Botcharov, Simon Gerrans, Pierre Rolland, Benoit Vaugrenard, Manuele Mori, Aurelien Passeron, Stef Clement, Maxime Monfort , Jose Luis Arrieta, Carlos Barredo, Christophe Moreau, Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez, Geoffroy Lequatre.
As Evans, Gilbert, Pauriol, Goubert, Pineau give up the fight, only 16 riders are left in the leading group.
As Rolland’s move is reined in, Robert Gesink’s Rabobank team-mates lead the chase, 38 seconds behind the group of 24 escapees.
Km 65.5 - Pierre Rolland (Credit Agricole) breaks from the leading group and goes on his own.
Carlos Barredo (Spain, Quick Step) is the best placed of the escapees. He lies 12th overall, 4:07 behind Robert Gesink.
Mario Aerts (Silence Lotto) has given up.
The leading group are now one kilometre from the top of the Col de Javon (km 64).
The group of escapees lead the bunch by 45 seconds. With the intial four escapees - Gilbert, Moreau, Pineau and Pauriol - feature notably Karsten Kroon (CSC), Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto), Alexandre Botcharov and Pierre Rolland (C.A.), Stef Clement and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step).
Km 54 - Twenty four riders are in the lead.
Km 52 - Cadel Evans, the Ventoux winner yesterday, took the lead of a chasing group of some 25 riders who caught the four escapees.
Results of the first intermediate sprint in St Saturnin les Apt (km 50):
1. Gilbert 3 secs, 3 pts
2. Moreau 2 secs, 2 pts
3. Pauriol 1 sec, 1 pt.
France’s Remy Gregorio (FdJ) bids farewell to Paris-Nice.
Km 46 - Gilbert joins Moreau, Pineau and Pauriol in the breakaway. The gap with the peloton is ten seconds.
As Sandy Casar was caught by the bunch, his team leader Philippe Gilbert countered behind the three French escapees.
Japan’s Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil Shimano) has given up.
Km 41 - Three Frenchmen in the lead, Christophe Moreau (Agritubel), Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), RemiPauriol (Credit Agricole). Sandy Casar (FdJ), originally with them, has been caught by the peloton, who trail the trio by 15 seconds.
Results at the top of the Col de Murs (2nd cat, km 30.5) :
1. Clement Lhotellerie (France, Skil-Shimano)
2 Benat Intxausti (Spain, Saunier Duval)
3. Remi Pauriol (France, C.A.)
4. Anthony Charteau (France, Caisse dâ€™Epargne)
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Belgium, Silence-Lotto
Another break on the Col de Murs, with France’s Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) and Italy’s Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre).
Riders in the race per nation (only 22 nations remain after Ireland’s Leignan and Britain’s Millar quit)
France: 36 (38 at the start minus Fedrigo, Cherel and Bonnet)
Spain: 23 (27 at the start, minus Pereiro, Duran Aroca, Albizuri and Gomez Marchante)
Italy: 18 (20 at the start, minus Cioni and Bertagnolli)
Netherlands: 14 (15 at the start, minus Curvers)
Germany: 19 (12 minus Knees, Wagner and Westphal)
Belgium: 10 (1& minus Van Summeren)
Australia: 5 (6 minus McGee)
Austria and Ukraine: 2
Belarus, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia: 1
Germany’s Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) and Belgium’s Johan Van Summeren (Silence Lotto) have also given up.
Km 21 - Edaleine then Clement were caught as the peloton tackled the first climb of the day, the Col de Murs.
Australia’s Bradley McGee (CSC) has called it quits.
His former coach at amateur French club VC La Pomme in Marseille, Frederic Rostaing, is convinced Fumiyuki Beppu will attack in todayâ€™s stage. He told local newspaper La Provence : "After Thierry and Clement, it is his day to attack." Frenchmen Thierry Hupond and Clement Lhotellerie, who staged the longest breaks in this Paris-Nice, were team-mates with Beppu at VC La Pomme and are now in the same team as the Japanese rider: Skil-Shimano.
France’s Christophe Edaleine has counter-attacked and joined Clement. The two lead the peloton by eight seconds.
Km 10 - Caught by the bunch after his first attempt, Clement insists and attacks again.
1997 â€“ Laurent Jalabert
1998 â€“ Andrei Tchmil
1999 â€“ Jacky Durand
2000 â€“ Matteo Tosatto
2001 â€“ Alex Zuelle
Dutch sensation Robert Gesink took the yellow jersey off Sylvain Chavanelâ€™s shoulders on the Ventoux. Davide Rebellin, a three times podium fiinisher in Nice ( 2003, 2004 and 2007) is now 32 seconds adrift with another Italian, in-form Rinaldo Nocentini third, a further three seconds behind.
The green jersey is still on the shoulders of prologue winner Thor Hushovd, with a 18 points lead over Belgiumâ€™s Gert Steegmans, winner of the first two stages.
The best climberâ€™s polka-dot jersey remains on the back of Frenchman Clement Lhotellerie, who should not struggle to keep his 15 points lead over Finn Kjell Carlstrom on the four bumps of the day.
The best young rider is of course Gesink, but the white jersey is worn by Spainâ€™s Luis Leon Sanchez, who lies 2 :06 behind the race leader overall.
Dutchman Stef Clement (Bouygues Telcom) is the next to attack at kilometre 4.
The sunny weather seems to inspire attacks. France’s Freddy Buchot and Anthony Geslin were the first on the move after 3 kms. But they were caught straightaway.
The start was given at 12:24 to 146 riders. David Millar (Slipstream), Leonardo Bertagnolli (Luquigas), William Bonnet (Credit Agricole) did not start.
French sports minister Bernard Laporte was on the Ventoux yesterday in the car of race director Christian Prudhomme and he enjoyed himself a lot: "Sport has claimed back its rights. The job of a rider is to ride and itâ€™s logical that the riders chose to ride. They wanted to be on the race and they all came. I enjoyed myself a lot. We had a great, hardfought race. In a climb like the Ventoux, you can see clearly the efforts the riders make. I admire them very much," the former French rugby union coach said.
Km 30.5 â€“ Col de Murs (2nd cat)
Km 64 â€“ Col de Javon (3rd cat)
Km 79 â€“ Cote de Sault (3rd cat)
Km 160 â€“ Cote des Marquises (3rd cat)
Km 50 â€“ St Saturnin-les-Apt
Km 154 - Sisteron
David Millar is not starting the 5th stage. The Briton finished in the "grupetto" yesterday on the Ventoux, 21:07 behind stage winner Cadel Evans.
Welcome on the 172.5-kms 5th stage of Paris-Nice between Althen-des-Paluds and Sisteron. The sun if forecast to shine all day.