BELLEVILLE, France (AP) -- Tom Jelte Slagter of the Netherlands won the fourth stage of the Paris-Nice cycling race on Wednesday, with British rider Geraint Thomas taking the overall lead after finishing second in a sprint to the line.
Slagter broke away from the main pack on the final and most difficult of four moderate climbs and Thomas was the only one who could keep up.
Thomas moved three seconds ahead of previous leader John Degenkolb of Germany, who finished 31st. Slagter improved to third overall, four seconds behind Thomas.
With defending champion Richie Porte pulling out just before the race to instead compete in the Tirreno-Adriatico, Thomas was handed the responsibility of leading Team Sky.