Germany’s Tony Martin celebrated a double victory at the Tour de France on Tuesday after winning stage four to lead the general standings.
The day’s ride was a massive 223.5 kilometre mission from Seraing to Cambrai in France – a bruising stage that included seven cobbled sections.
Thankfully there was not a repeat of the high-speed crash that marred the previous day’s action although the effort over the cobbles and the distance of the ride will no doubt have taken its toll.
Despite a few failed attempts at a break the peloton was tightly packed until the final kilometres.
With all the title contenders in the mix at the front Martin of the Quick Step team made his move.
It appeared to take the bunch by surprise as the German three-time world time trial champion was unchallenged as he cruised over the line for the win.
Compatriot John Degenkolb took second and Slovakian Peter Sagan third
Having started the day second in the general classification a mere one second behind 2013 champion Chris Froome – the victory saw him don the leader’s yellow jersey for the first time in his career.
He now holds a 12 second lead over Froome who crossed the line in the chasing pack.
Stage 5 gives the riders a little bit of respite from the hills and cobbles and is a flat 189 kilometre trek from Arras to Amiens.