Etixx-Quick Step rider Tony Martin leads the Tour de France 2015 at the end of the 228.5km Stage 4 that took place from Seraing to Cambrai over the French border.
The German rider now leads Team Sky rider Chris Froome with an edge of 12 seconds in the overall points tally. Martin, who also bagged his maiden yellow jersey at the end of Stage 4, has now recorded a total of 12h 40' 26'' over the four stages.
The yellow jersey is awarded to a race leader following each stage in the Tour de France from 1919.
Thirty-year-old Froome now sits in the second place in the overall points tally, while BMC's Tejay van Garderen is third at 25 seconds at the end of Stage 4.
As many as seven cobbled sections were presented in the platter of the stage and Martin had to make a solo break towards the end to bag the stage honours.
The German also had to succumb to a punctured bike in the final major cobbled section, but his team-mate Matteo Trentin came to his rescue in the final stages.
"I had a flat tyre in the last cobbled section. I had to change to Matteo [Trentin']s bike," Martin told Australian broadcasting network Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
Martin made a solo break towards the end of the tricky stage with three kilometres to go, to finish three seconds ahead of John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) on the Stage 4.
"I wasn't really thinking about anyone following me when I attacked," he said.
"Maybe they thought I was more on the limit than what I actually was when I launched in that moment. It's also possible no one expected such an early attack. I think inside four kilometres to go everyone was on their hands and knees. It was just the right moment for me to try my chance."
Britain's Froome, who had the lead until Stage 4, stated that the largely dry conditions reduced the complexity of the stage in favour of all the major general classification contenders.
He also mentioned that Martin wouldn't be able to keep pace with racers of Team Sky, once they reach the mountains.
"There's a lot of racing to go and while Tony's a good time-trialist, he won't be up there with us when we go into the mountains," Froome said.
Stage 5 rolls into Amiens, the capital of the Somme. The 189.5km stretch of race brings many changes in direction and a course exposed to the wind.
The stage also reaches the scene of World War I where the braveness of Anglophone soldiers who lost their lives during the war is celebrated.
It's going to be a straightforward race, with no categorized climbs, and sprinters could find the stage to be a comfortable one. It might be a little lumpy, if the crosswords create splits, but the stretch is relatively easier than the others so far.
WHERE TO WATCH LIVE
In India, the Tour de France Stage 5 will be LIVE on Ten Sports (7 pm IST), with the option of LIVE streaming as well on tensports.com
Viewers in the UK can catch it on Eurosport from 1:15pm BST. ITV4 will be broadcasting with programmes starting at 2pm BST while S4C's live coverage starts at 3pm.
Highlights: Eurosport2 6-7pm & 9-10.30pm; ITV4 7-8pm; S4C from 10pm
Viewers in the US can catch it on NBC from 8am ET - broadcasting four to five hours of live coverage every stage on its NBC Sports channel.
NBC Sports will also air a slightly compressed three-hour broadcast of each stage in primetime, starting at 8 p.m. ET each night.