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Samuel Leroux surprised the big-name riders and overall contenders at the Etoile de Bessèges, winning stage 4 to Méjannes-le-Clap from the early break of the day.
The Van Rysel–Roubaix rider dug deep on the climb to the finish to close a gap, hold off the peloton and win the four-rider sprint.
Leroux beat Dries De Bondt (Decathlon Ag2r), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) Jonas Hvideberg and Jonas Iversby Hvideberg (both Uno-X Mobility).
Magnus Cort (Uno-X Mobility) won the sprint behind for fifth place, just two seconds down on a tired but happy Leroux.
Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) finished in the chase group and so retained the overall race lead, with just Sunday’s 10.6km individual time trial around Alès to race. He leads Axel Laurance (Alpecin-Deceuninck) by just six seconds, with eight other riders within 28 seconds.
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