Although former time trial world champion Martin counted four Tour stage wins in his palmares before Tuesday, he had never worn the coveted yellow jersey of race leader. His solo attack at the end of the 2015 Tour’s ‘cobbles’ stage netted him not only his fifth Tour stage win, but also the race lead.
A YouTube video uploaded by the Etixx-QuickStep team on Tuesday evening after the German’s win shows the rarely-seen reaction of team staff as their man takes a momentous victory: in the teams cars and on the team bus, sports directors, soigneurs and mechanics scream, cheer, shout and high-five each other.
Martin himself described the opening four days of the Tour as an ’emotional rollercoaster’. “To miss the yellow by a few seconds, I was upset. I came close but I never had it, so the pressure was getting more and more,” he said.
“When I attacked, everyone was on their hands and knees. It was just the right moment.”
The team’s attention now turns to Wednesday’s stage five, which looks as though it will end in a bunch sprint and an opportunity for the squad’s Mark Cavendish to net his first victory of the 2015 race after placing fourth on stage two behind André Greipel.