Alessandro Petacchi continued his brilliant form with a thrilling win on stage five of the Tour de France.
The Fassa Bortolo rider has won three of the opening five stages of the Tour, following his six wins in this year's Giro d'Italia.
Petacchi produced a well-timed attack to overhaul Australia's Baden Cooke and Robbie McEwen who had been well-placed for the stage win.
Jaan Kirsipuu of Estonia finished second, with Cooke taking third.
In soaring temperatures on the course, Quick Step's Laszlo Bodrogi led an early breakaway and the Hungarian rider picked up maximum points in the three sprints.
France's Frederic Finot, also part of the five-man leading group, took over the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification, after he collected the six points available on both climbs.
The five were caught with 22km remaining, leaving the sprinters to battle it out at the finish.
Colombian Victor Hugo Pena retained the yellow jersey, with reigning champion Lance Armstrong still in second place one second behind after both US Postal riders finished safely in the pack.
"Today it was a very tough race and my team worked very hard for me," said Petacchi.
"It was a great sprint. You can win them or you can lose them but at the moment I am very pleased to be winning stages.
"It is already a very good Tour."
Stage five result:
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4hrs 9mins 47secs
2 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2R
3 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
4 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto
6 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole
8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
9 Fred Rodriguez (US) Vini Caldirola
10 Jean-Patrick Nazon (France) Jean Delatour
1 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) US Postal Service 17hrs 54mins 31secs
2 Lance Armstrong (US) US Postal Service +1sec
3 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service +5
4 George Hincapie (US) US Postal Service +5
5 Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) US Postal Service +23
6 Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal Service +27
7 Pavel Padrnos (Cze) US Postal Service +27
8 Floyd Landis (US) US Postal Service +28
9 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE +33
10 Joerg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE +38