Germany’s Tour de France sprint supremacy continued in Champagne country on Thursday as Andre Greipel triumphed in Reims.
The 194-kilometre sixth stage from Arras took place on wet roads, with crashes accounting for a number of riders.
The Giant-Shimano team of Marcel Kittel were conspicuous by their absence in the closing stages until it emerged the winner of stages one, three and four had a problem and would not contend the sprint.
It was Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), left out of position in the first three sprints of the Tour, who benefited, the German champion finishing arms aloft for the sixth Tour stage win of his career.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was second, with Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r La Mondiale) third, while Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished safely in the pack to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey he claimed on stage two in Sheffield.
Read More on ITV Sport
Marcel Kittel won a third Tour de France stage in four attempts and Chris Froome suffered a crash as the 101st edition of the race resumed in northern France on Tuesday.
There was drama early on the 163.5km stage from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille as defending champion Froome went down after six kilometres.
And the finish produced a familiar winner as Kittel (Giant-Shimano) out-sprinted Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) to add to his wins in Harrogate and London.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was 24th to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Froome finished 42nd on the stage, slipping from fifth to seventh overall ahead of a challenging fifth stage which will commemorate 100 years since the start of World War One.
Read more on ITV Sport
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali launched a late attack to win stage two of the Tour de France in Sheffield on Sunday and claim the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Hundreds of thousands of people again lined the 201-kilometre route from York on a brutal and unpredictable day of racing.
Nibali (Astana), the 2013 Giro d’Italia champion, left it late but timed his bid to the line to perfection to secure victory ahead of a number of his rivals for the overall title.
He also claimed the race leader’s maillot jaune, from stage one winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), who endured a difficult day.
Read more on ITV Sport