• Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) win Stage 5 of Paris Nice 2016 (AAP)Source: AAP
Bursting free of the pack on the descent from Col de Seze, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) rode alone for the final 15 kilometres after overtaking escapee Antoine Duchesne (Direct Energie).
Cycling Central

ASO, Orica-GreenEDGE, Astana Pro Team
12 Mar 2016 - 1:16 PM  UPDATED 12 Mar 2016 - 5:44 PM

Lutsenko finished the stage, 21 seconds ahead of the bunch headed by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE). 

Lutsenko said he felt he had the legs to go for his second World Tour victory. 

“I was feeling quite good in the last hills of the day, so when my team-mate Lars Boom regain from the bunch, I tried a couple of times to go. The second time I escaped, I thought to go as fast as possible and that was the right choice. 

"Now I’m second on the GC, just six seconds from the yellow jersey. Let’s see how the race will develop in the last two stages,” Lutsenko said. 

With his third place only just securing him the overall lead, Matthews too contemplated his chances in the days ahead.  

"It was a hard day for everybody but I feel good. Not super but good. I had noted this stage down as I was hoping we could get rid of the sprinters along the way (but we didn't so) the priority was then the yellow jersey more than the stage win.

"I'm not going to say I can win Paris-Nice but I'm going to give it everything I have. It's already over for the green jersey, I won it, so now it's all for the yellow," Matthews said. 

With Mount Ventoux appearing early in the race prior to four more ramps, the action predictably started with a seven rider break. The group make-up changed a little on Ventoux and was five riders strong on its way down, six minutes in hand. With 45km to go, this lead reduced to two minutes after Orica-GreenEdge pulled hard. On the Côte de la Roque d'Anthéron, Duchesne rode alone, 30 seconds ahead with Lutsenko ultimately joining him for the finale. 

Lars Boom (Astana) took the three points at the first sprint but won't trouble Matthews for the points jersey, while Jesus Herrada (Movistar) topped the Col de La Madeline first earning him the KOM lead. 

Australian Richie Porte (BMC) lies in 10th, 31 seconds behind.