Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) won the fourth stage of the Etoile de Besseges after shaking off the other survivors of a long breakaway in the final kilometres.
The 24-year-old Italian was part of a small group that escaped early in the 151.6 kilometre ride from Rousson to Saint-Siffret, north-east of Avignon.
The five-day race is the first of the season on the UCI calendar and has attracted a strong field including Ganna’s Tour de France-winning team-mates Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.
Ganna, the world time-trial champion, powered away from the other six breakaway members on a gentle slope. Despite an energetic pursuit, Ganna held on to win by 17 seconds. He was followed home by Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe).
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) kept his 44-second lead over compatriot Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) in the overall classification.
The race finishes on Sunday with an 11km time-trial in Ales.