Paris-Nice: Brandon McNulty solos to stage 5 win, Primož Roglič takes race lead
McNulty takes his second stage win of the 2022 season after going on the attack with 39 kilometers to go.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) put on a big solo show to take victory on stage 5 of Paris-Nice, the first WorldTour win of his career.
McNulty, who had been eliminated from the overall contest early in the race after losing a lot of time in the crosswinds of stage 2, got into the early two-man breakaway. The American rider attacked his fellow escapees on Col de la Mure, the final of five climbs, with 39 kilometers to go.
Nobody could follow McNulty’s move and he time trialed it to the finish line with almost a two-minute advantage over the next best rider. Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM) outsprinted Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) to take second on the stage.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) rolled across the line at the back of the group of favorites to moves into the race lead after his teammate, and yellow jersey wearer, Wout van Aert was dropped on the final climb with 37km to go.
Roglič was left isolated in the final 10 kilometers of the stage after repeated attacks saw his teammates get dropped, but he looked untroubled as his rivals put the pressure on. He leads Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) by 39 seconds with Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) a further two seconds back in third.
More to come…
🎉 He’s done it!!!
🥇@BrandonMcNult takes the win in #ParisNice stage 5 after a superb attack!#UAETeamEmirates #WeAreUAE pic.twitter.com/DurXtOjXkv
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamEmiratesUAE) March 10, 2022
With stage 5 being the first major foray into the mountains at this year’s Paris-Nice, there were always going to be a few abandons. However, there were far more than anyone expected with a whopping 18 missing the start in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.
Some left due to injuries picked up earlier in the race, but most cited illness as the reason for their departure. One of those that abandoned due to sickness was white jersey wearer Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost).
In the end, the peloton left with 126 riders but there would be fewer than that with yet more climbing off mid-stage. The 188.8km stage would send the bunch over five classified climbs, including three first-category ascents.
The first-category Col de la Mure, which crested at 33km to go, would be the last ascent and the biggest test of the day. A long descent followed by a tricky undulating finale would close out the day.
Despite the abandons, the racing continued in earnest with a hard contest to make it into the day’s breakaway. After around 20 kilometers of racing, some 10 riders managed to make the cut. They were McNulty, Jorgenson, Bonnamour, Ruben Fernandez Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic), Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), and Michael Mørkøv (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
The gap to the 10 up front extended very quickly and, with 100 kilometers to the finish, they had seven minutes on the peloton behind. As the riders closed in on the crucial Col de la Mure, the gap would be cut down by a minute, but the stage win looked certain to come from the breakaway group.
With 39 kilometers to go, McNulty sensed his opportunity to go for victory. After taking his first win of the season with a long-range attack, the American decided to go for another.
🏁 Dernier rescapé d’une longue échappée, 🇺🇸@BrandonMcNult s’impose en solitaire!
⏪ Revivez le dernier kilomètre.
🏁 Last remaining rider of a long breakaway, 🇺🇸@BrandonMcNult wins solo!
⏪Relive the last kilometre.#ParisNice pic.twitter.com/9PhXYkzKPY
— Paris-Nice (@ParisNice) March 10, 2022
Bonnamour and Jorgenson set off in chase of McNulty with Vanhoucke eventually joining them after the long descent from the top of the Col de la Mure. He would lose contact again on the difficult roads to the finish.
Further down the climb, Arkéa-Samsic pilled on the pressure at the front of the peloton and cracked race leader Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). GC contender Roglič would lose another man soon after with Steven Kruijswijk getting dispatched from the back of the reducing peloton.
With just under 15 kilometers to go, Roglič was unusually isolated with just Rohan Dennis for company. Sensing an opportunity, TotalEnergies put three riders on the front to up the pace in the rolling finale and caused Dennis to crack and drop off the back.
McNulty looked untouchable at the head of the race and with 10 kilometers to go he had almost two minutes of an advantage on the three chasers behind.
While that was done and dusted, the battle in the favorites group was far from over. Dani Martínez (Ineos Grenadiers) struck out with a stinging attack on an unclassified rise. There was no immediate reaction, but it would eventually spark several counterattacks from the big GC favorites.
It would be Roglič that eventually paced the group, which was now not much more than 10 riders, back to Martínez. The Slovenian sat at the front on the winding descent of the unclassified climb, keeping watch for any more attacks.
Meanwhile, McNulty had plenty of time to celebrate his victory, punching the air before sitting up to raise both arms in celebration. It’s his third win of the season.
Following the attacks over the final climb, the group of favorites rolled to the final meters with a long sprint from Latour the final act of defiance. Roglič did not get into the mix and sat at the back of the group as it came to the line.
Results will be available once stage has completed.