Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen sprinted to victory on stage three of the Tour de France as Britain’s Adam Yates retained the leader’s yellow jersey.
Philipsen, 25, edged out Germany’s Phil Bauhaus with Australia’s Caleb Ewan in third in the first bunch-sprint finish of this year’s Tour.
Britain’s Mark Cavendish was in sixth as the race crossed from Spain to the finish at Bayonne in France.
Yates now leads team-mate Tadej Pogacar and his brother Simon by six seconds.
It was an exciting end to a 187.4km stage that began in Amorebieta-Etxano and ended on the other side of the French border.
Philipsen was led out expertly by his Alpecin-Deceuninck team-mate Mathieu van der Poel to finish half a wheel ahead of Bauhaus and Ewan, but there was some controversy about the way his compatriot Wout van Aert was squeezed out of the race.
Van Aert, who finished second in Sunday’s second stage, attempted to pass Philipsen on the inside of the final bend but ran out of room because of the barriers and was forced to slow up.
The race commissaires reviewed video footage of the incident before confirming Philipsen’s victory.
“It was a bit of a doubt, but they make it really exciting in the end,” Philipsen said after being told the result would stand.
“It was tense but it’s the Tour de France and there are no presents. We can be really happy with the team performance. It was a great leadout with Jonas [Rickaert] and then Mathieu did a fantastic job, and I’m really happy to keep it to the finish line.
“I tried to take the shortest route to the finish and I’m really happy to be first over the line.”
Cavendish had closely followed Philipsen’s wheel as the sprinters jostled for position before the final kilometre but was not able to launch his own decisive attack.
The ‘Manx Missile’ was still smiling at the finish line, however, and during stage four on Tuesday he will have another chance to break the record of 34 Tour stage wins he currently shares with Eddy Merckx.
Another bunch sprint is expected at the end of a flat route that sees the race travel 181.8km from Dax to Nogaro.
Stage three results
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4hrs 43mins 15secs
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger/Bahrain-Victorious) same time
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto Dstny)
4. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned/Soudal-Quick Step)
5. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)
6. Mark Cavendish (GB/Astana Qazaqstan)
7. Jordi Meeus (Bel/Bora-hansgrohe)
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/Jayco AlUla)
9. Mads Pedersen (Den/Lidl-Trek)
10. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Cofidis)
General classification after stage three
1. Adam Yates (GB/UAE Team Emirates) 13hrs 52mins 33secs
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +6secs
3. Simon Yates (GB/Team Jayco-AlUla) same time
4. Victor Lafay (Fra/Cofidis) +12secs
5. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +16secs
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +17secs
7. Michael Woods (Can/Israel-Premier Tech) +22secs
8. Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
9. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa/Ineos Grenadiers)
10. Mattias Skjelmose (Den/Lidl-Trek)