Tour de France debutant Fernando Gaviria claimed his second stage win on Tuesday when he out-sprinted his rivals in a punishing fourth stage that included a nasty crash near the end of the 195km stretch from La Baule to Sarzeau.
Belgium’s Tiesj Benoot was left with blood pouring down his face and arms after being caught up in the collision just a few minutes from the end of the stage.
A number of riders were left on the tarmac, with France’s Axel Domont requiring medical attention on the roadside.
Amid the chaos, Quick-Step Floors rider Gaviria launched his sprint far from the line, and made sure of the win with a second burst of speed to beat world champion Peter Sagan and German Andre Greipel into second and third place respectively.
Tuesday’s stage also saw Britain’s Mark Cavendish suffer further frustration. The Dimension Data’s rider was left shaking a fist in anger after being caught out of position and touched by LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen in the battle for space.
BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey by finishing in the front group.