Martin had set the early pace for a windswept 33 km course from Avranches to Mont Saint Michel in 36min 29sec but had a nervous wait as Froome threatened to upset his hopes of victory.

Tony Martin
Tony Martin. PIC/AFP

In the end Team Sky's leader Froome came home in second place at 12secs adrift but finished more than two minutes ahead of principal rival, two-time champion Alberto Contador of Spain.

Overall standings:
> Chris Froome (SKY)  42h 29min 24sec
> Alejandro Valverde (MOV) +3:25
> Bauke Mollema (BKN) +3:37
> Alberto Contador (SAX) +3:54
> Roman Kreuziger (SAX) +3:57
Laurens ten Dam (BKN) +4:10