Tony Martin takes overall lead in Le Tour with victory in tortuous cobbled stage

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Germany's Tony Martin has taken the lead in the Tour de France from Britain's Chris Froome as he won a cobbled Stage Four in sensational style with a brilliant solo attack just three kilometres from the finish in Cambrai.

The Etixx - Quick-Step rider gained the 13 seconds he needed over Froome to wear the Yellow Jersey after he rode himself back into the peloton after a bike change.

New leader

He immediately moved to the front and the man considered the best time trial rider in the world powered his way to the stage victory.


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Martin said after his victory:

"After changing the bike I just thought I need to survive, but with five km to go I thought just go for it."

Martin's team mate John Degenkolb, along with sprinters Peter Sagan and Greg van Avermaet, came in second, third and fourth respectively with Froome 13 seconds in arrears and therefore relinquishing responsibility of the Maillot Jaune to the German.

Tough stage

The route from Seraing to Cambrai was a stage that was always going to be one that separated the men from the boys as it covered 223.5km over seven tricky cobbled sections of Belgium and northern France, normally reserved for One Day Classics such as Paris-Roubaix. 

The most unfortunate casualty was AG2R's French star, Jean-Christophe Peraud, who had several mechanical issues and dropped over three minutes to the Yellow Jersey, a lot more than he would have been comfortable with with only four stages completed in this years race.

The setback leaves him with a massive task to reach the heights he did in last year's Tour.

Wednesday's Stage Five covers northern France once again as the riders go 189.5km from Arras to Amiens, in a stage that sprinters like Britain Mark Cavandish will be eyeing up for a win.

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