Tuesday July 7th, 2015

Stage 4Seraing / Cambrai

Start 12h05 (Local time)

Key moments





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After missing out on the yellow jersey for three days in a row, Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) made it in Cambrai after breaking away solo with 3.1km to go. He was a member of a front group comprising all GC favorites at the exception of Thibaut Pinot following a spectacular stage on the cobblestones in north of France. The German scores his fifth stage victory at the Tour de France and moved into the lead for the first time with 12 seconds lead over Chris Froome who didn't try to hold onto...

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Taking the yellow jersey after all the bad luck I've in the last three days, and also today with the flat tyre towards the end, it's a super nice story and it makes me super happy. Matteo Trentin gave me his bike straight away after I punctured, then I had to be focused because it wasn't my bike, I had some difficulties to brake and I had lost a lot of energy in the chase. Michal Golas did a great job bringing me back to the front group. This morning Tom Boonen gave me a call to talk about...

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French hopeful Warren Barguil was one of the riders to impress despite little experience on the cobbles and he finds himself 11th overall after a Tour start that did not suit him on paper. Yet he said he was disappointed for his team-mate John Degenkolb to have missed a stage victory that seemed within reach.

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We expected a crazy stage and it was! It went well. Our goal was to keep Alberto Contador safe. It was hard but we have done a nice race. I saw Tony Martin attacking and I thought either someone goes after him directly or he goes to the finish. I couldn't respond. I was finished after pulling for Alberto but it was ok. Job is done.

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We haven't changed anything compared to last year, only the weather has changed. On the last slightly uphill pavé section, I've tried to break the group hoping that someone would get dropped. It was a very difficult race. At the end we were all the favorites together and we managed to handle the stress of such a specific stage. I've received a great support from the team. But it was dry, so it was less dangerous than last year and it wasn't possible to create difference because we were...

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This will be a stage to remember. As I said, I try to score points for the green jersey in every sprint that comes up but the green itself isn't a goal for now. It's been a pleasure to wear it in Belgium though, for my team and for my fans.

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The polka dot jersey isn't a goal but it's a very nice and very historical jersey to wear. If there's an opportunity, I'll go for it later in the Tour but we're here with two goals: prepare the sprints for Kristoff and there are a few of coming from tomorrow onwards, and ride GC with myself. I've passed the pavés very well. Being at the front on a flat stage with my team-mates means that I'm in a great shape.

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Dejected after the cobbles stage which saw him lose 3:23 because of a mechanical problem, Thibaut Pinot invoked bad luck and the 2013 Tour which was also an ill-fated one for him.

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Broken wheel for Contador

Alberto Contador fared well on the cobbles, finishing stage 4 in 19th position in the first bunch chasing vainly behind stage winner and new yellow jersey holder Tony Martin. And yet the Spaniard rode the last 25 kilometres with a broken wheel.

”I indeed felt that something was wrong. But I really must thank my (Tinkoff-Saxo) team-mates who kept me out of trouble until the end. I had good legs today, much better than yesterday. I'm above all glad to have made it out of it without a...

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Chris Froome's manager Dave Brailsford explained it was extremely important to hold the yellow jersey in the cobbles stage because it meant the Team Sky car would be in the front of the team cars line to help its leader in case of trouble.
“It means we're car number one. For that point of view it's perfect (to have the yellow jersey). Tomorrow is going to be a nervous stage, you try to stay in the race and use a bit of energy, but we're willing to spend a gamble of it to get through...

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Seven cobblestone sections are on the menu of stage 4 from Seraing to Cambrai. It's a mini Paris-Roubaix on the route of the Tour de France, similar to stage 5 last year when Vincenzo Nibali showed his exceptional agility on the pavés. There are again 13.3 kilometres of cobbles divided in seven sections but they're harder than at Paris-Roubaix, riders say, because most of them are false flat uphill. In 2014, the yellow jersey boosted Nibali's confidence. It might be Chris Froome's turn. The...

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Jersey wearers after the stage 1

Classifications after the stage 1

The Jerseys of the Tour

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