Slovakia’s Peter Sagan kept his composure to claim his third stage of the Tour de France in Metz on another day of racing marred by crashes.
Germany’s Andre Greipel, hoping to claim a third consecutive stage win, produced a solid run but it wasn’t to be for the 29 year old as Sagan once again demonstrated his supreme talent.
A total of three accidents took place on the 207.5km ride from Epernay to Metz including a mass pile-up 26kms from the finish line, which saw the likes of Frank Schleck, Michele Scarponi and Alejandro Valverde lose more than two minutes in the overall standings.
Canada’s Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal and Rabobank’s Robert Gesink were also among those delayed by the crash.
RadioShack’s Fabian Cancellara finished safely to retain his yellow jersey heading into the seventh stage. He still leads Britain’s Bradley Wiggins and France’s Sylvain Chavanel by seven seconds in the overall standings.