Richie Porte took an impressive victory at the top of the Montagne de Lure to take the Paris-Nice leader’s yellow jersey and stamp his authority on the race.
The little Tasmainian waited until 1.4km to go before he attacked, but he made it count. Denis Menchov, Michelle Scarponi and Robert Gesink had all attacked before him but none of them had made their efforts stick.
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Race leader Andrew Talansky took the race to his rivals over the last four kilometres throwing in several attacks. It was a brave tactic but all ‘The Pitbull’ did was waste his energy before the crucial finale.
The American should have know Porte was biding his time. Team Sky’s Kanstantin Sivtsov and David Lopez had spent the first two thirds of the 13km climb setting a pace that rapidly shed riders.
Porte waited until exactly the right time to go. Jumping across to Denis Menchov and then straight past him. His was the only truly convincing attack on the climb and he was soon out of site on the tight hairpin bends.
As the snow at the side got deeper, Porte’s lead grew. The small group of favourites started looking at each other as no one stepped forward to help Talansky. the Garmin rider was letting the lead slip to a rider who is predicted to ride a better Col d’Eze TT than him on the final day, but there was nothing he could do.
Porte’s lead grew to 33 seconds over Talansky by the line and with a ten second bonus on the line now has a lead of 32 seconds.
Paris-Nice 2013, stage five: Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Montagne de Lure, 176km
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 4:50:54hrs
2. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha at 26 seconds
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 33 seconds
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
7. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
8. Rojas Quintana (Spa) Movistar
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
10. Michelli Scarponi (Ita) Lampre Merida
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 24:26:08
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 32 seconds
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 42 seconds
4. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 49 seconds
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 52 seconds
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep at 53 seconds
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at same time
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 54 seconds
9. Micheli Scarponi (Ita) Lampre Merida at same time
10. Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep at 56 seconds
Jens Voigt’s ultimately doomed solo effort on the final climb
Lead group continaing Richie Porte and Andrew Talansky
Richie Porte’s stage-winning solo attack
Richie Porte in yellow
Paris-Nice 2013: Race preview and information
Paris-Nice 2013: Stage reports
Paris-Nice 2013: Photo galleries