It was the Liquigas rider’s second stage win having triumphed in Sunday’s first full stage.
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey. It was the tour’s first appearance in France this year following the prologue and two stages across the border in southern Belgium, there were a number of crashes and incidents.
Yellow jersey contenders Team Sky were the first to suffer a setback when Kanstantsin Sivtsov was forced to retire.
Sivtsov, one of Sky’s support riders for race favourite Bradley Wiggins, was one of several riders caught up in a crash just after the Cote de l’Eperche around 140 km into the race.
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