Dumoulin attacked on a short rise with 10 kilometres to go, following a move by AG2R La Mondiale's Geoffrey Bouchard. He eventually dropped Bouchard and caught a struggling Alessandro De Marchi but never really had much of an advantage over the peloton.
Hoping for an opportunity on final mountain finish
Dumoulin will be hoping to keep out of trouble in any crosswinds during Thursday's sprint stage 5, after getting caught up in a crash on stage 2. If he continues to get better over the next couple of days than the 20km Jebel Jais will be a much better opportunity for him to take a stage win.
Dumoulin is currently 1:04 down in the overall classification and much less of a threat should he go on a late attack.