Matteo Trentin was thrilled to edge out Peter Sagan in a photo-finish to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France in Nancy and give Omega Pharma-QuickStep their first win of the 101st edition of the race.
The 234.5-kilometres route from Epernay was the second longest stage of this year's race and lit up when the riders reached the day's second and final categorised climb.
The summit of the Cote de Boufflers came with 5.5km to go, with Sagan (Cannondale) prominent over the top, but the leaders regrouped in a technical finale and Italian Trentin pipped Sagan by the narrowest of margins.
"I've won by just a few centimetres," Trentin said. "It was nervous with this complicated finale and those crashes but I didn't realise really because everything was happening behind me.
"Surprisingly, I wasn't feeling good this morning, but on the way, I felt better and better. After the first climb, I realised something was possible.
"(Michal) Kwiatkowski led me out to perfection. I had to finish it off. But at the end, I really thought that Sagan had passed me."
The Belgian squad had to regroup following leader Mark Cavendish's exit on day one and Italian Trentin's second Tour stage win is a welcome success.
"It's wonderful for the team, especially after six days of bad luck," Trentin added.
Sagan appears comfortable in the points classification's green jersey with the race a week old, but he is still chasing a fifth stage win of his career and first on this Tour.
"When I win, people complain that I win easily and now people think it's strange that I don't win, but the reality is that it's not easy to win," Sagan said.
"This is another good day but something is missing and that's a stage win. There's still a long way away in the Tour de France and I hope my day will come."