March 10, 2016

ROMANS-SUR-ISERE, France (AP) French rider Nacer Bouhanni outpaced his rivals in a sprint finish to win the fourth stage of the Paris-Nice race on Thursday, while Australian Michael Matthews retained the overall lead.

Matthews beat Bouhanni in controversial circumstances on Tuesday's second stage when Bouhanni was penalized for deviating from his line in the final sprint.

''This time there's no controversy, I won,'' Bouhanni said. ''Of course I was a bit revengeful, what happened in Tuesday's sprint upset me, and I slept badly that night. It consumed a lot of my energy and I wanted this win to forget all of that.''

Bouhanni held off Belgian rider Edward Theuns and Andre Greipel of Germany to win the 195.5-kilometer (121-mile) trek from Julienas to Romans-sur-Isere at the foot of the Vercors mountain range in the Alps of southeastern France.

Matthews leads Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 14 seconds overall, with Patrick Bevin of New Zealand 19 seconds back in third place.

The standings are set for a shakeup on Friday, when Stage 5 takes the peloton up the famed Mont Ventoux, one of the most feared climbs on the Tour de France.

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