Bradley Wiggins maintains lead in Paris-Nice

Britain's Bradley Wiggins retained the lead in the Paris-Nice race as Belgian Gianni Meersman of the Lotto-Belisol team won Wednesday's fourth stage.

Alejandro Valverde, who won the third stage, launched a late attack on Wednesday's final climb.

But Wiggins tucked in behind the wheel of the Spaniard, who lies seventh overall, to quell the attack.

Sky's Wiggins remains six seconds ahead of American Levi Leipheimer with Tejay van Garderen another five seconds back.

Slovenian Grega Bole was second behind Meersman on Wednesday, with Dutchman Lieuwe Westra third in the fourth stage of the event known as the 'Race to the sun'.

Paris-Nice overall standings:

1st: Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain), Sky Procycling - 9 hours, 9 minutes, 41 seconds

2nd: Levi Leipheimer (US), Omega Pharma-Quick Step - 6 secs behind

3rd: Tejay van Garderen (US), BMC Racing - 11 secs

4th: Sylvain Chavanel (France), Omega Pharma-Quick Step - 14 secs

5th: Maxime Montfort (Belgium), Radioshack-Nissan - 18 secs