July 07, 2015

CAMBRAI, France (AP) A brief look at the 4th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday:

Stage: The Tour finally entered France, swinging over from Seraing in Belgium to Cambrai in northern France. The 223.5-kilometer (138.9-mile) ride featured seven feared cobblestone sections spread over more than 13 kilometers (8 miles).

Winner: German rider Tony Martin, a three-time world time trial champion, timed a late attack to perfection and then held off countryman John Degenkolb to clinch a fifth Tour stage win.

Yellow jersey: Martin. Having just missed out on the yellow jersey after finishing second in Saturday's opening stage time trial, Martin was not to be denied this time. Starting the stage one second behind overnight leader Chris Froome, Martin finished the day 12 seconds ahead of the British rider and 25 seconds clear of American Tejay Van Garderen, who has made a very consistent start to the race.

Quote of the day: ''I wasn't trying to show how strong I was on the cobbles today; it was about staying out of trouble.'' - Froome, after staying safe to protect his time advantage over his main Tour rivals: Alberto Contador of Spain, Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Nairo Quintana of Colombia.

Stat of the day: 25 - The number of kilometers ridden by Contador with a broken rim rubbing against the brakes on his rear wheel.

Next stage: After the intense heat of stage 1 and ferocious winds of stage 2, the huge crash on stage 3 and the back-jarring cobblestones of stage 4, riders will be looking forward to a good night's sleep and - hopefully - a relatively peaceful stage 5. Wednesday's mostly flat route in northern France takes riders over 189.5 kilometers (117.5 miles) from Arras to Amiens, the capital of the Somme department.

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