Kooij and Gaudu in the spotlight

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Always placed but never a winner in the first two massive sprints of this Paris-Nice, Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) was rewarded this Thursday during the 5th stage, which saw the young 21-year-old Dutchman prove to be faster than Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). Bryan Coquard ranks 6th. David Gaudu, first in the intermediate sprint, is six seconds behind Tadej Pogacar in the general classification.

Olav Kooij finally rewarded. Since the start of this Paris-Nice last weekend, the young 21-year-old Dutch sprinter had come very close to victory each time victory was decided on a bunch sprint. Twice placed but still never a winner, the rider from the Jumbo-Visma team took his revenge this Thursday during the 5th stage, between Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise and Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, which she also played in the sprint. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), 3rd in the 1st stage and winner of the 2nd stage, was one of the big favorites for victory in the event of a new sprint.

Unfortunately for the Dane, he produced his effort too early and above all too far from the finish line. He therefore had to settle for 2nd place this time, behind the hero of the day and the youngest stage winner in the Race to the Sun since Peter Sagan in 2010, who came to claim his second victory in the World Tour, he who had already triumphed last season on a stage of the Tour of Bologna. Despite the good resistance of Pedersen, who had however launched his sprint from too far, the teammate of Jonas Vingegaard, 4th at La Verrière during the 1st stage and 2nd the next day at Fontainebleau behind… Pedersen, imposed himself in strong.

Gaudu’s beautiful operation

The Belgian Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quick Step), who had won the 1st stage, completes the podium this time, at the foot of which the Italian Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), 4th, fails. First French of this 5th stage, Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) ranks 6th. Nice operation on the other hand for another Habs, and not the least.

David Gaudu, only outstripped on Wednesday at the top of the Loge des Gardes hill by Tadej Pogacar, is indeed taking advantage of his first place in the day’s intermediate sprint to grab a few precious seconds in the standings from the Slovenian. The small French climber from the Groupama-FDJ team, who was ten seconds behind the double winner of the Tour de France on Wednesday evening, is only six seconds behind. The Breton can continue to dream.

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