Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha Team won a crash-hit stage three of the Tour de France that was neutralised on three occasions.
The 159.5 kilometre trek from Anvers to Huy in Belgium saw the peloton decimated by a high-speed crash with 58 kilometres to go.
The crash claimed multiple riders including the race leader at the time Fabian Cancellara who later announced he had broken some bones in his back.
Tom Dumoulin and Simon Gerrans were also stage three casualties and will be now heading home.
Meanwhile Rodriguez shook off his minor injuries – in comparison – and set about getting him and his team in a position to fight for victory up the final and gruelling Mur de Huy climb to the line.
2013 Tour champion Chris Froome was in the mix but Rodriguez burst up the final few hundred metres to take a fine victory ahead of the British Team Sky rider.
Froome held on for second place and coupled with a six second time bonus saw the Sky leader take the overall race lead – one second clear of Germany’s Tony Martin and 13 seconds ahead of American Tejay Van Garderen.
So Froome will wear yellow for the first time since his 2013 victory as the peloton head to stage four – a potentially havoc-wreaking classics-flavoured cobble test to Cambrai France.