Tony Martin is too good a bike rider never to have worn the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, and he has finally righted that wrong.
The Etixx-QuickStep man is a hugely popular figure, and it is very easy to see why – his incredible engine and penchant for attacking coming to the fore more and more regularly.
Martin was desperately unlucky not to already have claimed the yellow jersey after his second place on the stage one time trial.
He rode superbly for Mark Cavendish the following day, only for the Manx Missile to miss out in the sprint and, in doing so, allow Fabian Cancellara to snatch bonus seconds and deny Martin the jersey.
The following day, Chris Froome’s sprint for second on the Mur de Huy ensured he finished in the same time as stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) – enough to claim the yellow jersey by just one second from Martin.
Data later showed Froome was within the one-second cut-off to Rodriguez by just 0.07 seconds – effectively denying Martin the jersey by millimetres.
But the German, nicknamed Der Panzerwagen – the tank – is made of sterner stuff and his stage victory is all the more remarkable for the fact he did it on a team-mate’s bike.
After riding superbly all stage – and credit should also go to Mark Cavendish and Zdenek Stybar for their roles at the head of the race – he was not to be denied by misfortune.
A quick bike change with Matteo Trentin, a rapid chase back on with his team-mates and a superbly-timed attack later and Martin will wear yellow on stage five.
The sprinters he denied with his late attack may disagree, but there will be few who begrudge the excellent German his moment in the sun.