Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) finally got his stage win at Paris-Nice, just two days after being relegated on stage two for clashing with Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge).

Bouhanni sprinted clear of Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) in second and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) in third to secure the stage victory.

Matthews finished fifth to retain his overall lead in the race with three stages remaining. British overall hope Geraint Thomas (Sky) maintained his fifth place overall.

>>> Paris-Nice 2016: Latest news, reports and info

Although still cold, the weather was much kinder than during the previous day’s aborted stage, which saw heavy snowfall lead to the cancellation and neutralisation of the stage.

On Friday, the peloton tackles Mon Ventoux on a tough stage that features five categorised climbs from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Salon-de-Provence. Given that the ascent of Ventoux is placed 126km before the finish, there may be enough chance for the race to re-assemble after any splits.