Briton Chris Froome overcame a punctured tyre to maintain his overall lead of the Criterium du Dauphine.
The defending champion changed his bike with 33km to go to remain 12 seconds ahead of Spaniard Alberto Contador.
Froome, the Tour de France champion, was helped back into the race by Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas.
The 167.5km fourth stage from Montelimar to Gap was won by Russia's Yury Trofimov, who finished 23 seconds clear of Swede Gustav Larsson.
A group that included Trofimov broke away from the peloton with 21km to go, but the Katusha rider went clear on his own three kilometres later as they climbed the Col de Manse.
The 30-year-old's attack was good enough to claim a stage win in the Criterium for the second time, six years after his first.
"The breakaway wasn't really dangerous," said Froome. "We mainly wanted to control it and didn't take any risk in the final descent.
"The team did great work, I had three riders with me until the line."
Stage four result:
1. Yury Trofimov (Russia / Katusha) 3:59:22"
2. Gustav Larsson (Sweden / IAM Cycling) +23"
3. Pim Ligthart (Netherlands / Lotto) +25"
4. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Norway / Belkin) +28"
5. Peter Velits (Slovakia / BMC Racing)
6. Maxime Bouet (France / AG2R)
7. Jan Bakelants (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
8. Damiano Caruso (Italy / Cannondale)
Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +2:10"
Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) ST
Overall standings after stage four of eight
1. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) 14:09:19"
2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +12 secs
3. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +21 secs
4. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin) +33 secs
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Belgium / Lotto) +35 secs
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) +50 secs
10. Adam Yates (Britain / Orica) +1:31"