Paris-Nice: Merlier sprints to top 3
Tim Merlier was again in contention at the French race, at the end of the 212.4km stage 5, which represented the sprinters’ last opportunity to fight for glory. Victorious on the opening day of the event, where he captured his fourth win since the start of the season, the Belgian Champion was up there for Soudal Quick-Step when it came down to crunch time in Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux.
Our rider was well placed going under the flamme rouge, but in what became a very messy bunch sprint due to a roundabout in the final kilometer, he lost a few positions and had to come from a long way back. Even in these conditions, Merlier showed his incredible speed, passing several riders on his way to third, behind Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), who took the victory.
Stage 6 of Paris-Nice will be one for the baroudeurs. Five classified climbs and no meter of flat on the roads to La Coulle-sur-Loup will be just the terrain a breakaway needs in order to try and hold off the peloton.
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