RODEZ, France (AP) -- Belgian rider Gianni Meersman timed his attack perfectly to win the fourth stage of the Paris-Nice race on Wednesday, and Bradley Wiggins kept the overall lead despite Alejandro Valverde's late attack on the final climb.

Wiggins retained his 6-second lead over American veteran Levi Leipheimer.

Meersman was in sixth place as the final sprint was launched about 150 yards from the finish. But he chose an outside line to just edge out Grega Bole of Slovenia, with Dutch cyclist Lieuwe Westra finishing third.

Valverde's Movistar team helped him to the front on the last of five climbs. But Wiggins tucked in behind Valverde's wheel to quell his attack.

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