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Westra wins stage, closes on Wiggins in Paris-Nice

Dutchman could possibly have taken the yellow jersey off Wiggins had he finished the stage at full pace but slowed down.

 Lieuwe Westra: won stage five.
Lieuwe Westra: won stage five.
Image: OmniSports

DUTCHMAN LIEUWE WESTRA has won stage 5 of the Paris-Nice, attacking on a steep final climb to move into second place overall today.

The 29-year-old from the Vacansoleil-DCM team easily rolled across the finish line, six seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Levi Leipheimer (Quick Step) and Simon Spilak (Katusha).

Westra possibly could have taken the yellow jersey off Wiggins had he finished the stage at full pace but slowed down after attacking with 500 metres to go.

Wiggins retained the yellow jersey after the stage from Onet-le-Chateau to Mende, with team-mate Richie Porte playing a key role by setting a tough pace on the climb into Mende, which cracked many of Wiggins’ rivals.

The 178.5 kilometre stage featured a long breakaway by Simon Clarke (GreenEdge), Frederick Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM), Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar) and David Le Lay (Saur-Sojasun). The quintet started their break after just two kilometres and at one point led by six minutes and 50 seconds.

But they were eventually reeled in with Veuchelen the last to be caught, just three kilometres from the finish. With three stages to go, including the individual time trial on Sunday, Wiggins leads Westra by six seconds in general classification.

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