Nacer Bouhanni of France was a winner for the second successive day as he clinched the third stage of the Tour of Beijing on Sunday to maintain his overall lead with two days to go.
Bouhanni, riding for the Francaise des Jeux team, clocked 4 hours, 8 minutes, 15 seconds on the 109-mile course from Yanqing to Qianjiadian.
Australian Michael Matthews of Orica-Green Edge was second while Russian Aleksei Tsatevich of Katusha finished third.
"It was hard but I had a super team to support me and I didn’t want to disappoint them and I went for it," Bouhanni said after a sprint finish. "The fifth stage, yes, I’d like to win but tomorrow will be a bit too hard."
Matthews rose to second place in the overall standings with Frenchman Maxime Bouet of Ag2r-La Mondiale in third place.
Meanwhile, first-stage winner Thor Hushovd of Norway, who was also second overall after the second stage, withdrew from the competition due to a family illness.
"Obviously, it is a big disappointment," Hushovd said. "Of course, I wish I could finish my season in downtown Beijing on Tuesday."