Lille, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcel Kittel of Germany prevailed in a photo finish to win Stage 4 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.
Kittel beat out Alexander Kristoff of Norway and Arnaud Demare of France to claim his third stage win of this year's tour. He also won the first and third stages.
"I could see the finish line and I really gave everything I had today, but it was very difficult," said Kittel. "We did not underestimate Kristoff, we always knew he was a very dangerous guy as he showed today. Today we saw that we were not unbeatable. We must still focus on our race and our preparation."
The German completed the 163.5-kilometer trek from Le Touquet-Paris Plage to Lille Metropole in a time of 3 hours, 36 minutes and 39 seconds.
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali remained the overall leader of cycling's most prestigious event.
Defending champion Chris Froome had a scare early in the stage when he crashed and hurt his left side. He rode the rest of the stage with a splint on his left wrist.
Froome's wrist will be put to the test on the cobblestones that mark Wednesday's 155.5-kilometer fifth stage from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.
A total of 20 riders are within two seconds of Nibali's overall lead. Included in that large group are Froome and former winner Alberto Contador of Spain. Kittel is 19 minutes, 50 second off the overall lead.
Before Tuesday's stage, 2010 winner Andy Schleck dropped out because of a crash injury a day earlier.