Popovych Wins Stage 5 of Paris-Nice
Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) has won Stage 5 of Paris-Nice. The Ukrainian soloed away from six breakaway companions to win the hilly, 178-km ride from Sorgues to Manosque in 4:11:51. Francisco Jose Ventoso (Saunier Duval) outsprinted Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) for second at 0:14. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) remains the overall leader.
The start was delayed while the police investigated a suicide in a home on the Col de Murs. When the racing started, the riders wasted no time in going into high gear. Freddy Bichot (Agritubel) and several other riders attacked right after the start, but they were reeled in. When that group was caught, Johan van Summeren (Predictor), Nicolas Portal (Caisse d?Epargne), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), David Zabriskie (CSC), Popovych, Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), Bert Grabsch (T-Mobile), Jurgen van de Walle (Quick Step), Hubert Dupont (Ag2r), Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), Nicolas Jalabert (Agritubel), Igor Abakoumov (Astana), and Ivan Murillo Fischer (Liquigas) went off of the front. An acceleration by Popovych on the Col de Murs dropped Dupont, Jalabert, Portal, Zberg, Abakoumov, and Perez. At the summit, the leading septet had 4:00 on the peloton, which Gerolsteiner and Lampre led.
With 33 km left, Popovych dropped his companions on Le Mort d?Imbert. At one point, he was the race leader on the road. Alarm bells rang in the peloton, and Gerolsteiner and Lampre redoubled their efforts. Caisse d?Epargne and Predictor joined the effort to protect David Lopez Garcia and Cadel Evans, respectively.
In the overall, Rebellin leads Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) by 0:06 and Tadej Valjavec (Lampre) by 0:23. Stage 6 will be a hilly, 200-km ride from Brignoles to