BOURG DE PEAGE, France German Andre Greipel timed his effort to perfection to win the fifth stage of Paris-Nice, a 199.5-km ride from Quincie en Beaujolais on Thursday.
The Lotto Soudal rider accelerated with about 50 metres to go to overcome France's Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL Jumbo), who finished second and third, respectively.
"I went just on the right time, I am so relieved that I've finally won a stage in this Paris-Nice," Greipel said.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after staying safe in the bunch.
His overall lead will be under threat in Friday's sixth stage, a hilly 193.5-km trek between Aubagne and Fayence.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Alison Williams)