Cavendish avoided a crash in the run-up to the flamme rouge barrier – a crash that brought down Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) – and his Dimension Data teammates dropped him off with just Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) to overtake. The Italian was quickly dispatched and Greipel, having had to take the long way around, was not able to close the gap.
Manuele Mori (UAE Team Emirates), Artur Ershov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), David Lozano (Novo Nordisk), Artyom Zakharov (Astana), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) and Kazushige Kuboki (Nippo-Vini Fantini) made it into the breakaway but their chances of succeeding were slim and they were caught with around 30 kilometres to go.
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