June 10, 2015

SISTERON, France (AP) French rider Nacer Bouhanni won the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in a sprint finish, while Australian rider Rohan Dennis retained the overall lead on Wednesday.

Bouhanni finished ahead of Belgian rider Jonas Van Genechten and Slovenian Luka Mezgec, after 5 1/2 hours.

Early into the moderately hilly stage, a 228-kilometer (141-mile) trek from Anneyron-Porte de DromArdeche to Sisteron in southeastern France and the race's longest, Dutch rider Martijn Keizer and Belgian Tosh Van der Sande forged ahead. With 50 kilometers (30 miles) remaining, their lead was trimmed down to five minutes.

Van der Sande dropped off, leaving Keizer alone in front, but he was overtaken by Belgian rider Tim Wellens, who was caught by the chasing pack with 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) remaining.

''It was very difficult at the end, because of the attacks in the last climb,'' Bouhanni said. ''Without (Cofidis teammate) Julien Simon, it would have been impossible for me to win. I'm happy because I've had five or six second places since the beginning of the season.''

Dennis leads overall from BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen, while Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali is just behind them.

The race, which ends on Sunday, is a warm-up for the Tour which starts on July 4.

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