Stage four of the Critérium du Dauphiné offered the sprinters the opportunity to get in on the action and Team Sky’s all-rounder, Edvald Boasson Hagen, took advantage to claim victory in La Clayette.
With the breakaway caught and a bunch sprint looming, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) made a solo bid for glory inside the final two kilometres.
But, with Radioshack-Nissan-Trek setting a relentless pass at the head of the peloton, Gilbert’s efforts were in vain.
That setup the bunch sprint the expectant crowds were waiting for.
Stage favourite John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) punctured in the closing stages, leaving Boasson Hagen and Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) to go head-to-head.
And it was two-time Tour de France stage winner Boasson Hagen who emerged victorious, arms aloft as he crossed the line.
The Norwegian enjoys a well-earned drink while waiting for the podium ceremony.
The victory is Boasson Hagen’s second at the Critérium du Dauphiné after he previously claimed stage seven of the 2010 race.
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) continues to lead the general classification by one second ahead of Thursday’s 53km individual time trial.