Britain’s Mark Cavendish notched up his 24th career Tour de France stage win and first of this edition courtesy of a devastating sprint finish in Marseille.
The rolling terrain of the 228.5-km stage five from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille was ideal for the breakaway.
Six riders tried their luck early on and at one point the group built up a lead of over 13 minutes.
The peloton left it late to react but managed to catch the front runners with the finish line fast approaching.
Special report: 100 years of the Tour de France
The last of the escapees was swallowed up with 4 km to go, setting up the predicted mass sprint.
Chaos hit the final straight when a crash stopped much of the field from continuing on to the line.
But just ahead Cavendish – who is recovering from bronchitis – timed his sprint to perfection and blasted out in front to claim top honours for the first time in the 100th edition of cycling’s most prestigious race.
The Manx Missile’s acceleration left Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen in second place and Slovakian Peter Sagan in third.
Australian Simon Gerrans easily retained the leader’s yellow jersey ahead of Orica-GreenEdge teammates Daryl Impey and Michael Albasini.
Thursday’s stage six is a 176.5 kilometre ride to Montpellier.
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 7Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 8French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 9Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 10International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 11Latest News Bulletin
- 12BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 13Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 14‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 15At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 16Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 17Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 18Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
- 19Varoufakis resigns after Greek referendum
- 20The Pluto flyby : what we’ve learnt so far
Wires > Sport
- 14:47 CET Leicester sign midfielder Kante from Caen
- 14:14 CET Some extreme doping test results show athletes’ health at risk -…
- 14:06 CET Austin likely to move, says QPR manager
- 13:56 CET Insight – Daily fantasy sports land in gambling industry crosshairs
- 13:48 CET Bojan needs more time to regain full fitness, says Hughes
- 12:34 CET Rafael poised to join Lyon from Manchester United
- 11:29 CET Rodgers delights at promising start for new strikeforce
- 11:21 CET Sheikh Ahmad coy about who should succeed Blatter