The German went on the attack with race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Belgian champion Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) on the penultimate cobbled sector and then, despite being pinned on the front ahead of a cat-and-mouse sprint, he claimed an enormously emotional victory.
The several of the overall classification contenders struggled in the mayhem that ensues whenever there are dusty, dry cobbles. Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) lost 1:55, while Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) each faced long chase-backs from crashes.
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