The Critérium du Dauphiné reached its fifth day of action on Thursday, with stage four from Tain-l’Hermitage to Belley.
A relatively sedate day for most of the peloton over the rolling terrain ended in a frantic finale, with Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) taking the stage victory.
Tour of California winner Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-QuickStep placed second, with French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in third.
Also hitting the headlines was the fact that Richie Porte (BMC) and race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) lost a handful of seconds to rival and defending champion Chris Froome (Sky).
Froome finished in the front group as Porte and Contador were distanced and finished in a group at nine seconds.
Although Contador hung on to the overall lead, Porte dropped from second to third as Froome moved up to second.
Friday’s stage should provide even more fireworks as the race hits the mountains. With Froome only four seconds behind Contador, and Porte a further two seconds back, the big hitters are neck and neck.
The 2016 Critérium du Dauphiné concludes on Sunday, June 12.