Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors) sprinted to victory on stage two of the 2017 Tour de France in Liege after a frantic bunch sprint.
The German fast man outsprinted French champion Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) to claim the tenth Tour de France stage win of his career.
Dimension Data’s Mark Cavedish’s late surge saw him finish fourth – one of two Brits in the top ten alongside seventh-placed Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates).
As the opening time trial had been, the stage was beset by bad weather and defending champion Chris Froome and last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet both hit the deck in a huge crash at the front of the peloton with 30km to go.
But both men, along with all of their GC rivals, remounted and finished safely in the peloton, however, as Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) held on to the maillot jaune.
Rolling out in Dusseldorf, four riders got in the day’s breakaway – Taylor Phinney (Cannondale-Drapac), Yoann Offredo (Wanty Groupe-Gobert), Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie) and Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Oscaro).
The advantage was never significant, but it was enough to keep them out for the whole day as the sprint teams set the tempo in the bunch.