Cousin claims just second career stage win

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Sisteron (France) (AFP)

France's Jerome Cousin clinched just his second career stage win on Thursday when he triumphed on the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice, a 165km run to Sisteron.

Cousin, 28, riding for the Direct Energie team, had only once before tasted success in his professioanl career, winning a stage on the Etoile de Besseges in 2013.

His win on Thursday was also his team's second of the week after Jonathan Hivert's Tuesday victory at Chatel-Guyon.

Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez of Astana keeps the overall leader's jersey ahead of Friday's 198km run to Vence which includes five climbs.

Stage five results:

1. Jerome Cousin (FRA/Direct Energie), 165 km in 3 hrs 57:25, 2. Nils Politt (GER/KAT) at 02, 3. Andre Greipel (GER/LOT) 04, 4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN/AST) 04, 5. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/EAU) 04, 6. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 04, 7. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MIT) 04, 8. Mike Teunissen (NED/SUN) 04, 9. Matti Breschel (DEN/EFD) 04, 10. Koen De Kort (NED/TRE) 04.