Britain's Mark Cavendish of HTC-Highroad claimed his 16th career win in the Tour de France when he powered to victory in the race's fifth stage on Wednesday.
Norwegian Thor Hushovd, of the Garmin-Cervelo team, kept the race leader's yellow jersey after the 164.5km ride from Carhaix to Cap Frehel.
Cavendish, who claimed 15 stage wins over the previous three Tours, came into the 98th edition knowing there would be few chances to sprint to victory in the race.
However, his HTC-Highroad team defied the difficult conditions on the coast road leading to Cap Frehel before successfully chasing down a late attack launched by French pair Thomas Voeckler and Jeremy Roy. Having followed Roy when the FDJ rider pulled away with 33km to race, Voeckler was caught with 1.8km to go.
HTC, however, gave their rivals food for thought when German time-trial specialist Tony Martin pulled away inside the final kilometre, prompting Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen into a furious chase.
He was followed by stage one winner Philippe Gilbert, Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas, and Hushovd.
Cavendish played a waiting game, powering up in the final 100 metres to beat Gilbert at the finish line. Hushovd, will wear the yellow jersey into Thursday's 226.5 km ride from Dinan to Lisieux.