The Tour de France has left UK soil and crossed the channel into France. Stage 4 in the Nord Pas de Calais region was in stark contrast to the festive atmosphere and massive crowds that Yorkshire put on. You’d be forgiven for mistaking today’s stage for the Dauphine or some minor race.

Not only were the crowds small, but the number of journalists and photographers was reduced after major delays with the Eurotunnel last night and this morning. However, chartered ferries and flights for the riders and the race organisation made sure that the race was on schedule.

Not to worry. We were treated with another day of fine racing where we saw Marcel Kittel claim his third victory in four stages in Lille, France. Vincenzo Nibali once again finished safely in the main field to maintain his lead in the general classification ahead of his third day in yellow.

Tomorrow’s stage is the day we’ve all been waiting for which will take place over more than 15 kilometers of cobblestones that are typically only seen in Paris-Roubaix. Stage 5 starts in Ypres, Belgium, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I in a city devastated by the conflict. The nine cobbled sectors will put the GC contentors to the test and with Froome’s wrist injury in today’s stage, it remains to be seen if he’ll be still considered a favourite after stage 5.

Enjoy the photos from stage 4 courtesy of BrakeThrough Media (follow on Instagram and Twitter) and Cor Vos.

Click here for a full report and results from Stage 4 of the 2014 Tour de France.