Tour de France

Tour de France 2014 mapJuly 4-26 2015

After three days of near misses, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) finally got to pull on the coveted yellow jersey of Tour de France race leader after winning stage four.

German former time trial world champion Martin launched a solo attack in the final three kilometres of the stage that featured seven cobbled sectors. His three-second gap over the peloton plus a 10-second bonus for winning the stage saw him overthrow British hope Chris Froome (Sky) as race leader.

Froome finished in the chasing group along with rivals Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Martin now leads Froome by 12 seconds overall, with American Tejay van Garderen in third at 25 seconds.

The 2015 Tour de France looks set to be one for the climbers with three mountainous days in the Pyrenees followed by two big days in the Alps at the end of the three weeks. The penultimate day of the race finishes at the top of Alpe d’Huez.

Reigning champion Nibali has skipped the Giro d’Italia in favour of defending his title, while Froome, one of the strongest climbers in the pro peloton, will also line up with the aim of taking his second victory.

Quintana is expected to challenge strongly, particularly as this year’s route looks to favour him with only one short individual time trial and one team time trial.

In terms of experience, however, no-one can match two-time winner Alberto Contador, who will continue his quest for a Giro-Tour double when he takes the start in Utrecht.

Key info: 2015 Tour route | Contenders (video) | Route analysis | Start list | Tour videos | TV Guide | Past winners | Brief history | Jerseys | Brits in the Tours

Key riders: Vincenzo Nibali | Chris Froome | Alberto Contador | Nairo Quintana

Previous editions: 2014 TdF | 2013 TdF | 2012 TdF | 2011 TdF | 2010 TdF