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Summary

  1. Tony Martin wins stage four to move into yellow
  2. Britain's Chris Froome now second, 12 secs back
  3. Seven sections of cobbles on 223.5km (138.8 miles) stage
  4. Use audio icon to listen to BBC 5 live sports extra commentary from 15:00 BST

Live Reporting

By Peter Scrivener

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from me today. Thanks for your tweets and company. I'm back on Friday to take you through the weekend's action.

Paul Fletcher will be in the chair for Wednesday's stage. Be sure to join him.

Geraint's stage five preview

It's a 189.5km (117.7 miles) race from Arras to Amiens.

Stage five map
BBC

Here's what Geraint Thomas is expecting:

"Barring anything really crazy happening, today will certainly be one for the sprinters. There will be a lot of teams looking to set it up for a bunch sprint, especially if they've not had the chance for one so far. In terms of contenders there's obviously the pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Alexander Kristoff and Nacer Bouhanni."

Right then, that's stage four done and dusted. the race report

is taking shape so it's time to move on to stage five...

Martin in yellow

Yellow Jersey

Classification

1. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step 12hrs 40mins 26secs

2. Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky +12secs

3. Tejay van Garderen (US) BMC Racing +25secs

4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto +38secs

5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff - Saxo +39secs

6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing +40secs

7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step +46secs

8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff - Saxo +48secs

9. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky +1min 15secs

10. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step +1min 16secs

Stage 4 result

1. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step 5hrs 28mins 58secs

2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant +3secs

3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff - Saxo

4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing

5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team MTN

6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis

7. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Katusha

8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto

9. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step

10. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar

Tweet us via #bbccycling

Jess Parsons: CRACKING end to today's stage on #TDF2015 TT specialist @tonymartin85 takes it! Moments like that are what cycling is all about.

Stuart Mitchell: Sky won't care, they wanted to get through the day, and it's only 12 seconds. Froome will reclaim yellow in a few days.

Andrew Harvey: I'm sweating just sitting at my desk reading the updates! Fantastic effort from @TeamSky and stage winner @tonymartin85!

#bbccycling

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Today shows why Dave Brailsford set the team set up around Chris Froome with a Classics orientated squad. It was particularly for this stage. This was the key one in the opening week where they could have lost significant time but they've come up trumps.

"I'm glad there were no big losses today though because it's kept everyone in the chase, the top four in particular. It's shaping up to be an incredible race."

I must admit to missing that bit. I saw Martin suffer a problem with around 20km remaining. It appears as though he got on Matteo Trentin's bike and rode to the finish on that.

And for those of you wondering why Team Sky and Chris Froome will be happy to be rid of the yellow jersey - it's mainly to do with the pressure of holding it. They will now be able to relax over the next few days and worry about winning it back when they hit the Pyrenees next week.

Here's Tony Martin's thoughts on that finish: "After having a flat tyre and changing bikes I was thinking about the next stage. But I got back in and with 5km remaining everybody was looking round and not pulling so I went for it. A thousand thanks for my team. I am super happy."

Big hugs and kisses all round in the Etixx - Quick-Step team. It's been an eventful few days for Mark Cavendish and his team-mates. After messing up the sprint on stage two, they got it so, so right today.

The top four

Martin's German team-mate John Degenkolb was second over the line, one second adrift, with Peter Sagan third and Greg van Avermaert fourth.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"What an incredible finale for Tony Martin. He has just missed out on the first three stages. He deserves it so much. He started out just one second behind Chris Froome and Team Sky will not be bothered to lose the yellow jersey."

Martin wins and takes yellow

Yellow Jersey

Classification

Tony Martin celebrates
AP

Tony Martin wins stage four and takes the yellow jersey.

Martin is into the final 200m, he's going to win this and ride into the yellow jersey...

1km remaining

Mark Cavendish is hovering in the train, about eighth wheel. He does not need to worry about a leadout because his team-mate Martin is going for a solo victory. But Martin is only five seconds clear as he enters the final kilometre.

2km remaining

Tony Martin is a three-time time trial world champion so he is used to putting in a big effort and holding on. He has 2km to go. If he wins, he is in the yellow jersey.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"I don't think Team Sky will be chasing. They won't mind if they lose the yellow jersey today."

Martin attacks

There are two right-angled bends in the final kilometre and the last 600m is uphill. Doesn't sound perfect for Cav, who prefers the flatter sprint.

And while everyone is looking at each other, Tony Martin goes on the attack.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Mark Cavendish
AFP

"Mark Cavendish is in this lead group. On this finish if he's got the legs, he could be getting his hands in the air. But his Etixx - Quick-Step team have got Tony Martin to think about as well."

5km remaining

We are 5km from the finish and all the big favourites are in the mix. As exciting as the cobbles have been, they've not been quite as divisive as last year.

I don't think any of the big four will be looking for a stage win. So it's down to the likes of Sagan, Degenkolb, Van Avermaert etc...who's your money on?

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome are back on the front of the bunch. I want what G has for breakfast.

Group back together

Chris Froome
EPA

Incredible scenes on the road. Froome, Nibali and Valverde are in this leading group. Peter Sagan has been distanced. Can they keep the speedy Slovakian adrift?

Geraint Thomas, refreshed from taking a quick break, takes up the pace again but the group behind is catching them.

10km remaining

There is a group of around 10 riders clear of the bigger group. Geraint Thomas finally sits up for a breather, leaving Froome out front. Froome flicks an elbow, indicating he wants someone else to take over.

Attacks galore

Nibali goes first but he is passed by Zdenek Stybar. Froome goes into Nibali's wheel and then goes past the Italian.

Geraint Thomas chases down Stybar and then looks over his shoulder and waits for Froome and the two of them emerge from the cobbles right at the front. Terrific riding by G.

Will anyone make a dash for it on this final section of pave? Astana again take up the pace, but once more Geraint Thomas is up at fourth wheel and Chris Froome slips in behind him. There are about 40 riders strung out behind. Vincenzo Nibali sidles up alongside Froome. Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana are still in the leading group.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Team Sky have played a blinder so far."

15km remaining

The riders all look like they've been down a coal mine as they enter the final 15km to the finish. Just one cobble section to come. It's 2.3km long and there will be 7km remaining when they get back on the asphalt.

Matt Slater

BBC Sport at the Tour de France

Peloton on the cobbles
Reuters

"As expected, it has all come to life on the cobbled run-in to Cambrai. Chris Froome's rivals have all had a go at trying to put him under pressure but the Team Sky rider's wobbliest moment so far has been when he rode into the gutter on a relatively decent stretch of road.

"It is the French favourites who have been having the hardest time of it, which is ironic given the fact that we are actually in France now.

"Pierre Rolland was dropped by the leaders' pace relatively early but Thibaut Pinot has really been in the wars and was last seen slamming his bike onto the road in frustration. He badly needs a new steed."

Martin mechanical

Meanwhile, the leaders are off the cobbles. Just one section of Pave remaining. Simon Brotherton reports that Tony Martin is out the back. Unclear whether a puncture or a mechanical for the German. He is just one second behind Chris Froome in the overall race standings remember.

Pinot is off his bike again and he slams it into the side of the road. Frustrations boiling over for the Frenchman. He is three minutes behind the leaders now.

Rob Hayles

Former GB cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"I wouldn't imagine it will be bon appetit for the FDJ team when Pinot turns up for tea tonight."

Pinot punctures

The choking dust will not be helping the riders. At the back of the leading bunch, France's big hope for this year's Tour, Thibaut Pinot, comes to a halt. Looks like a puncture at the worst possible time. Pinot is looking distraught as he gets a shove from his mechanic.

There are about 30 riders in a long line cycling right up the middle of the road. Tinkoff-Saxo put a man on the front. Geraint Thomas is around 12th with Chris Froome still hugging his wheel as they head though the fields of northern France.

It looks like Geraint Thomas is last-Skyman standing with Chris Froome as they get back on to the tarmac. Thankfully no rain and no fallers so far but this is punishing racing as the riders swing right on the penultimate section of cobbles.

25km remaining

Vincenzo Nibali leads
Getty Images

Here we go on the cobbles again. Vincenzo Nibali attacks again but almost rides into the back of Tony Gallopin. The Italian gives the Frenchman a shove in the backside.

John Degenkolb takes up the pace with Geraint Thomas hanging on in there, with Chris Froome following his every move.

Froome almost falls

Having just typed that, Froome comes within a whisker of being shovelled off his bike. That was close. It was a Katusha rider that nudged him wide and he clipped the kerb before being bounced back into the peloton.

Froome in position A

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome momentarily drop back into the middle of the leading bunch but they drift out to the right and into open road and from a precarious position, they are in position A again.

Pave sector three coming up. It's 1500m long and followed quite quickly by pave two which is 3.7km.

30km remaining

Lotto Jumbo, who have classics specialist Sep Vanmarcke in their midst, storm to the front of the peloton but Nibali is having none of that and puts his Astana boys back up there.

BMC Racing have several riders in the front group, riding for Greg van Avermaert. Geraint Thomas is continuing to show Chris Froome the way. There are a lot of nervous glances around. The second, much larger, bunch on the road is around 35 seconds adrift.

Kristoff punctures

The riders are strung out again. Bad news for Alexander Kristoff who has suffered a puncture. That could end his hopes of a stage win. Andre Greipel, the leader of the points competition, is also losing ground.

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Small Man Peaky: This is insanity. Froome is going to need Stannard and G to get him to the safety. I hope Martin gets the yellow.

#bbccycling

35km remaining

BMC Racing's Greg van Avermaert is looking interested, as is Movistar's Alejandro Valverde. There are about 40-50 riders left in the front group as they career on to pave sector four.