Race director Christian Prudhomme promised the 72nd edition of Paris-Nice would be wide open with no time trials or big summit finishes on the cards.
The racing has not disappointed, however, despite what may have been perceived as a modest parcours.
The undulating finish on stage four – with the steep ramps of Mont Brouilly to contend with – blew open the general classification.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) took the plaudits, after the latter instigated an attack on the final climb, which saw them stay clear until the end.
Slagter won the battle, prevailing in a two-up sprint, but Thomas took a significant step towards winning the war, having moved into the overall lead.
But what have we learned from the stage? Read our five observations over the following pages, and add your own in the RCUK Forum.