Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway won the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in a bunch sprint on Tuesday as David Veilleux of Canada kept the overall lead.
The Norwegian rider held off Michael Matthews of Australia and Gianni
Meersman of Belgium, completing the 167-kilometer trek from
Amberieu-en-Bugey to Tarare in 4 hours, 3 minutes, 32 seconds.
"The chase down the hill was excellent. I'm grateful to the team," Boasson Hagen told the event's website. "My form is coming at the right time. It's great for my morale to come up with a stage win at the Dauphine again. I'm ready to switch my focus to my other job helping Chris Froome. Our main goal at Team Sky remains the yellow jersey."
Fumiyuki Beppu of Japan, Sander Cordeel of Belgium, Jacob Rathe of the United States and Juan-Antonio Flecha of Spain escaped in the opening kilometer, building a lead that reached nearly seven minutes. But they were reeled in by the chasing pack 13 kilometers from the finish.
Laurent Didier of Luxembourg then took his chance in the ascent of the Col des Sauvages and was later joined by Bart de Clercq of Belgium. But the Sky team worked hard to catch them in the final kilometers.
Veilleux is 1:56 ahead of Meersman in the overall standings.
"Tomorrow, I'll face up to the truth. I'll do my best and we'll see how it goes," Veilleux said. "In any case, these past three days have been fabulous. I've received a lot of encouragements from Canada where I've made the front page of the newspapers. It's been a great opportunity to seize."
Gaetan Bille of Belgium withdrew from the stage while Chris Anker Sorensen of Denmark did not start because of gastroenteritis.
Wednesday's fourth stage is an individual time trial of 32.5 kilometers from Villars-les-Dombes to Parc des Oiseaux.