Mark Cavendish is truly the dominant sprinter of the Tour de France. After a "there is no news" day of the Tour de France, he got his nose in the wind last, and sprinted to victory. The day was marked with two abandons, those of Mathias Frank and Matti Breschel.
A slow day is what we expected, and a slow day is what we got, with the riders facing into a block headwind for all of the stage. All of it. Even the breakaway was reluctant to get going, it took Martin Elmiger of IAM Cycling, Jérémy Roy of FDJ, Alex Howes of Cannondale and Cesare Benedetti of Bora-Argon 18 to get going, and set the rabbit going for the greyhound to chase. It was actually a pretty noble sacrifice — the peloton kept them on a short leash thanks to the wind practically blowing them backwards, and they were caught in the last five kilometres by the Katusha and Etixx-driven peloton. Roy was given the combativity prize, being one of the last two to finish, because he's French and apparently it's 2011.
That just left the sprint, which Kittel oopened up more than 250 metres from the line, fading quickly in the wind, and letting Cavendish come around him. Cavendish jinked sharply to the right at the end, causing Kittel to protest and the commissaires to review the stage, but the Manxman held on to his win, taking his thirtieth Tour de France stage, and fourth of 2016. Kristoff came in second, his best result of the Tour. Also notice the man in twelfth, the Lanterne Rouge Sam Bennett taking a step forward having been dropped on many stages thanks to a crash on stage one.