BARBENTANE – Briton Simon Yates won the fifth stage of Paris-Nice, a 25.5-kilometre time trial around Barbentane, near Avignon, on Thursday.
Pole Michal Kwiatkowski, who rides for Sky, finished third to keep his overall lead.
Sky’s Colombian climber Egan Bernal finished sixth, but jumped to second overall and trails his teammate by 19 seconds.
Yates, the winner of the Tour of Spain last season, was one of the pre-race favourites on Paris-Nice.
But the 26-year-old Michelton rider lost more than six minutes after being dropped when the peloton broke up on the windy second stage.
“It’s unexpected,” Yates told the race website. “It’s my first ever victory in a time trial, even as a youth cyclist.”
Friday’s sixth stage runs 176.5km through hills just north of the Mediterranean coast between Peynier and Brignoles.
1 Simon Yates (GBR/Mitchelton) 30min 26sec, 2 Nils Politt (GER/KAT) at 7 sec, 3 Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 11, 4 Tejay van Garderen (USA/EF1) 15, 5 Daniel Martinez (COL/EF1) s.t., 6 Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) s.t., 7 Lawson Craddock (USA/EF1) s.t., 8 Tom Scully (NZL/EF1) 27, 9 Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 30, 10 Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 30 s.t.
Overall Standings (after 5 of 8 stages)
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 17hrs 23min 00sec, 2 Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) at 19sec, 3 Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 28, 4 Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 1:01, 5 Bob Jungels (LUX/DEC) 1:01, 6 Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:05, 7 Felix Grossschartner (AUT/BOR) 1:09, 8 Jack Haig (AUS/MIT) 1:19, 9 Rudy Molard FRA/FDJ) 1:22, 10 Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 1:25.AFP