Germany’s Tony Martin just took the lead in the Tour de France by attacking late on stage four on an ill-fitting bike he borrowed on the fly from one of his teammates.
It’s his first yellow jersey, one of cycling’s most coveted prizes.
On the last of several cobbled sections, Martin got a flat tire. Normally he’d just grab his spare bike from his team’s car, but the car was stuck in traffic behind the select group of about 35 top riders he was racing with.
Martin’s teammate Matteo Trentin was with him at the time of the puncture and told him to just take his bike.
Trentin’s bike is a few centimeters larger than Martin’s, and the brakes are reversed — the rear brake is on the left side of the handlebar and the front on the right.
But it didn’t matter as Martin pulled out one of the biggest wins of his career after attacking with about a kilometer to the finish line.
He said it was “super difficult” to pull it off as he was trying to deal with the borrowed bike and his rivals for stage victory.
“I think I put out more watts than I ever did,” said an exhausted and emotional Martin.
Martin now leads the Tour by 12 seconds over previous leader Chris Froome, the Kenyan-born UK rider who won the 2013 Tour.
More to come.
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