After being demoted from top spot to third for veering off his line in the sprint finish to stage two, Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni bounced back in the best possible way by winning stage four of the Paris Nice.
After stage three was cancelled due to snow on the roads, stage four took the bunch over 193 kilometres to Romans-sur-Isère.
The day wasn’t without incident – with 32 kilometres left a crash in the peloton put Sky’s Geraint Thomas, among others, on the floor.
The next crash was almost comical in its ending.
Dimension Data’s Nathan Haas put his foot on the gas in an attempt to chase down a breakaway group but such was his pace he struggled with a bend in the road and ended up in a farmer’s field. Fortunately he got back in the saddle relatively unscathed.
The stage ended with a sprint to the line and former French national road race champion Bouhanni was not to be denied this time.
He was led out perfectly by his Cofidis team and showed a clean pair of wheels to his rivals as he crossed over comfortably ahead of Belgian Edward Theuns and Germany’s Andre Greipel.
Race leader Michael Matthews finished fifth to retain the overall race lead with three stages left.