The fifth stage from Paris-Nice once again offered an exciting finale. At the end of the day, Colombian Carlos Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) had the best legs and prevailed ahead of fellow escapees Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Britain's Geraint Thomas (Sky) crossed the finish line with the field and defended the overall leader's yellow jersey. Second overall John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) was also able to hold his position and can still be happy about the jersey of the driver with the best points.
However, the animator of the day was undoubtedly Sylvain Chavanel (IAM). Shortly after the start of the 153-kilometer stage from Crèche-sur-Saône to Rive-de-Gier, the Frenchman, together with Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar), Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing). However, the quintet was not able to gain a solid lead, which was probably mainly due to the presence of Bakelandts, who could have posed a threat to Thomas in the overall standings.
However, Chavanel wanted to seize his chance and fled with almost 25 kilometers to go. After that, alone, he was able to hold onto the lead until the last climb of the day. On the Cote de Saint Catherine, Betancur and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in particular flexed their muscles. However, Thomas was unimpressed by this and also countered Nibali's attacks on the descent dryly.
With less than ten kilometers to go, Betancur finally surprised the competition. Only Jungels and Fuglsang reacted and chased the Colombian towards the goal. Here, however, he was clearly superior to them in the sprint.
1. Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) 3:38:15
2. Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) 0:00:00
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 0:00:00
4. Bryan Coquard (Europcar) 0:00:02
5. Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 0:00:02
1. Geraint Thomas (Sky) 21:52:42
2. John Degenkolb (Giant Shimano) 0:00:03
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin Sharp) 0:00:04
4. Carlos Alberto Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale) 0:00:05
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar) 0:00:08