CHIROUBLES, France: Vuelta a Espana champion Primoz Roglic claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey in the Paris-Nice by winning the fourth stage, a 188-km hilly ride between Chalon-sur-Saone and Chiroubles on Wednesday.
The Slovenian, who also finished runner-up in last year's Tour de France after cracking in the final time trial, powered away from the pack in the final ascent, a 7.3km climb at an average gradient of 6per cent.
German Maximilian Schachmann took second place and France's Guillaume Martin finished third, both crossing the line 12 seconds behind Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic.
Giro d'Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart abandoned the race after crashing in the descent from the Mont Brouilly some 15 kilometres from the finish.
His Ineos-Grenadiers team, who had already lost Australian Richie Porte in a crash during the opening stage, said the Briton was heading to hospital "for further assessment".
Overall, Roglic leads Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) by 35 seconds and American Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates) by 37.
Thursday's fifth stage takes the peloton over 200 kilometres from Vienne to Bollene.