Henri Manders of the Netherlands saw an 18-minute lead whittled to 11 seconds Wednesday but held on to win the 139-mile fifth stage of the Tour de France.
Denmark's Kim Andersen, of the La Vie Claire team, finished in the main pack to retain a 19-second overall lead over Belgian Eric Vanderaerden after the rigorous stage from Neufchatel-en-Bray in Normandy to Roubaix-Tourcoing on the Belgian border.
The test included more than 31 miles of rough cobblestone roads in five stretches.
The 24-day, 2,285-mile race around France reached its northernmost point, and the 173 riders left from the original list of 180 are to run a 137.3-mile sixth stage today southeast into Reims in the Champagne region.
Manders completed the hot, dry stage in 6 hours 27 minutes 25 seconds, which was 11 seconds ahead of a large group led by Irish Skil team leader Sean Kelly. Australian Phil Anderson was third and Raleigh teammate Vanderaerden fourth.
Race favorite and La Vie Claire leader Bernard Hinault, a four-time Tour de France champion, was fifth on the stage.
La Vie Claire, the talented, high-priced team built during the last two years by French entrepreneur Bernard Tapie, kept 6 riders in the top 10 of the overall standings.
Hinault retained third place, 61 seconds behind Andersen. Among his teammates, Canadian Steve Bauer was fourth, 1:12 back; American Greg LeMond was fifth, 1:19 back; Switzerland's Niki Ruttimann was eighth, 1:35 back, and Frenchman Marc Gomez was ninth, 1:37 back.