The Tour de France has got a new overall leader but Frenchman Thomas Voeckler was lucky to get through on another stage riddled with yet more horrific pile ups.
Ninety kilometres from the line the leading Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov joined a growing list of leading riders out of the Tour. He was taken to hospital with a broken thigh along with three others including Belgian Jurgen van den Broek.
The litany of injuries continued when a TV car skittled the leading breakaway sending Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland carreering into a barbed wire fence.
Spain’s Luis-Leon Sanchez outsprinted his two French chasers to take the stage at the finish in St Flour.
Voeckler’s second was enough to give him the yellow jersey. Frenchman Sandy Casar came in third, 13 seconds adrift.
Overall Sanchez is 1 minute 49 off Voeckler’s lead with Cadel Evans of Australia 2’26” behind.
The Schleck brothers Fraenk and Andy are sitting in fourth and fifth respectively.