Belgian Gianni Meersman timed his attack perfectly to win the fourth stage of the Paris-Nice race yesterday, but Briton Bradley Wiggins kept the overall lead despite Alejandro Valverde's late surge on the final climb.
Meersman was in sixth as the final sprint was launched 150 metres out but, choosing an outside line, he pipped Grega Bole of Slovenia on the line, with Dutchman Lieuwe Westra in third. "I thought I was too far behind but the finish was uphill. I waited, waited and waited until the last moment and I sprinted," Meersman said.
The Movistar team helped Valverde to the front on the last of five climbs, but Wiggins tucked in behind the Spaniard's wheel.
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