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
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 6Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 7Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 8NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 9Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 10‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 11Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 12Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 13Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 14Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 15Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 16Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 17Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 18Hungary: billboard war sparks international concern
- 19Latest News Bulletin
- 20[Latest] AKP loses its majority as Kurdish party enter Turkish Parliament
Wires > Sport
- 23:19 CET Hiddink steps down as Netherlands coach
- 23:18 CET Serena and Djokovic up and running at Wimbledon
- 22:44 CET Chilean Jara gets ban reduced to two games
- 22:40 CET UEFA softening break-even rule to attract investors
- 21:52 CET Grace, Smith and Lowry accept PGA Tour membership
- 21:50 CET Warrior Hewitt waves goodbye after thriller
- 21:06 CET Jones extends Man United contract
- 20:53 CET F1 tyre size a deal-breaker for Michelin