Stage 5 of Paris-Nice saw riders complete a 199.5km rolling course from Quincie-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Peage. After 8km of racing 6 riders went clear, whilst Team Sunweb spent the day in the peloton protecting Michael Matthews for what was set to be a sprint finish. Team Sunweb and the peloton were happy to let the breakaway riders have their day up the road, with their advantage reaching seven minutes at maximum. As the race approached the 100km to go mark, the peloton started slowly eating away at the leaders time gap. Things became tense in the peloton as winds created splits with just under 30km of racing left, but with 17km to things came back together. As the breakaway riders were caught at 12km to the finish, the race was to become a war between the sprinters. Team Sunweb moved towards the front to position themselves to lead-out Michael Matthews for the sprint. These efforts did not go unnoticed as Michael battled it out until the line taking 4th place. Warren Barguil also maintained his GC position of 17th.
After the stage Michael explained: “Today the legs were a bit sore but we went for a result regardless. I think we all rode in a good position all day and into the final. With 1km to go we lost each other on the lead out a little bit but I managed to find Zico and Roy again who took me straight to the front with 600 metres to go. It wasn’t my best sprint but I gave it everything I had and that’s all I can ask of myself.”
“As suspected this was a quiet day until the final 50km,” Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou said. “Inside the last hour of racing we supported Warren for the GC whilst preparing the sprint for Michael. We improved our lead out from the previous sprint stage which is really good, because this is something that we intended to focus on today. We still have room to develop and improve but I am sure we are getting closer to a victory.”