Racing resumed at the Tour de France after Tuesday’s rest day and the peloton wasted little time in delivering yet another enthralling stage.
A flat start to the course meant there was little to speak of in the way of action in the first part of the race, but as soon as the climbs started the stage burst into life.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was once again in supreme form, splitting the bunch with a fierce descending speed, while Peter Sagan (Cannondale) once again chased stage success.
But it was Frenchman Tony Gallopin – one stage after his day in the yellow jersey – who continued the home nation’s fine Tour de France by escaping the attentions of the lead group late on and soloing to victory.
It meant Sagan – who has now finished in the top ten on eight of the 11 stage so far – was foiled once again in his bid for a stage win.
The GC contenders also had to be on their guard on the undulating stage, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) remaining attentive throughout to retain his yellow jersey lead.
But what did the first stage back after the rest day teach us? Read our five observations over the following pages and add your own in the forum.