The stage was won, as expected, by Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in a bunch sprint in Lille.
But stage four of the 2014 Tour de France – the first to take place on French soil – was anything but straight-forward.
Crashes for defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) and GC contender Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling) in the opening kilometres set the tone for a frantic day in the bunch.
And with rain falling, it did not get any better as Lotto-Belisol’s sprint train suffered on the greasy road surfaces.
On a day which saw Thomas Voeckler make his first big breakaway attempt of this year’s Tour and Kittel insist he is not unbeatable, though, what did we learn?
Read our five observations over the following pages.