Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team) took the overall lead of the Tour Méditerranéen on Saturday afternoon after winning the fourth stage, an 18.6km individual time trial around Saint- Rémy-de-Provence.
On the eve of the final finish to Mont Faron, Cummings dethroned race leader John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano), who won the first three stages.
Cummings took the time trial in 24 minutes and 27 seconds, with Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) finishing second at 4 seconds with Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) third at 10 seconds.
“You know, I do not win so often, so I’ll really enjoy this victory,”” said Cummings, who had not stood atop a podium since the fifth stage of the 2012 Tour of Beijing.
Earlier Saturday, Degenkolb won the short third stage, a 63.5km sprint.
Sunday’s fifth and final stage is a 192.7km affair that includes Mont Faron, with its 5.5 miles of 8 percent grade.
The top 30 riders are spread out over lessthan a minute and a half, and the current leader is not a pure climber.
“Of course , we will try to defend the jersey, but it will be difficult,” said Cummings.