Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) took a solo victory on stage five of Paris-Nice, attacking in the final 20km and holding off to the finish line, 21 seconds ahead of the peloton.
The Kazakh rider bridged to the lone remaining breakaway rider, Antoine Duschene (Direct Energie), before riding alone for the final 16km of the stage to Salon-de-Provence.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the sprint for second ahead of race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge), who sees his margin in the yellow jersey cut by six seconds by Lutsenko.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) now 18 seconds off the lead in third. A summit finish on the Col de Madone outside Nice on Saturday will decide the general classification, with the likes of Dumoulin, Geraint Thomas and Ion Izagirre looking to eliminate their time gaps on the infamous climb.