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Canberra cyclist Nathan Haas crashes out of Paris-Nice, Michael Matthews still in yellow

Canberra cyclist Nathan Haas took in some of the French countryside as he had flashbacks to his time as a mountain-bike rider, crashing out of the Paris-Nice overnight.

Luckily, the Dimension Data cyclist escaped serious injury and is just "super sore" after he missed a corner during the fourth stage of the Paric-Nice on Thursday.

Fellow Canberran Michael Matthews finished fifth on the stage, behind Nacer Bouhanni, and the Orica-GreenEDGE rider retained the yellow jersey with a 14-second lead.

Haas was forced to withdraw from the race after the crash, but things could have been serious after he underestimated a corner on a descent and went careening off the road.

The 26-year-old took to Twitter to say he was okay and had escaped serious injury.

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"All good! X-Ray's no break, just super sore. Thought I was back on the mountain bike. Thanks @TeamDiData Med team," Haas tweeted.

Meanwhile, Matthews was hoping for a reduced bunch sprint on Friday's stage five - provided he can get over a tough climb halfway through the stage.

"Tomorrow is another hard day but I think I can get over Mont Ventoux. If that's the case and there's a few sprinters left, I'll be among those who stand a good chance," he said.