Bradley Wiggins retained the leader's yellow jersey as German John Degenkolb won today's fourth stage of the Dauphine Libere.
Wiggins' Team Sky colleague Edvald Boasson Hagen was second in a mass sprint at the of today's 173.5km trek from La Motte-Servolex to Macon.
But he was edged out by Degenkolb, whose time of four hours, 15 minutes and 41 seconds was good enough for the stage win after breakaway duo Jeremy Roy and Adriano Malori were hauled in two kilometres from the finish.
Ireland's Nicholas Roche finished in among the main pack in 28th place and in the same time as stage winner Degenkolb. Daniel Martin also finished in the same time, back in 148th place.
Roche remains in 16th place in the overall standings, 3 minutes 26 seconds behind Wiggins - who still holds a 1min 11sec lead over Cadel Evans in second.
Slovenia's Janez Brajkovic is third going into tomorrow's 210km stage from Villars-les-Dombes to Les Gets, the longest in the race which finishes on Sunday.