The 2004 Olympic silver medallist was also the first Portuguese to win an individual Tour stage in 21 years and only the fourth rider from his country to do so. Paulinho outsprinted Belarussian Vasil Kiryienka to the line while Belgian Dries Devenyns was third, 1min:29sec behind.
The three belonged to a group of six escapees who spent most of a scorching day in the front and crossed the line some 14 minutes ahead of the main bunch that included overall leader Andy Schleck of Luxembourg. Schleck retained his 41-second lead over defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain.
The sprinters should shine again in today's 184,5km stage to Bourg les Valence.