Jasper Philipsen won for the second day in a row amid a chaotic finish to stage four of the Tour de France in Nogaro.
The Belgian was again led out perfectly by his team-mate Mathieu van der Poel and edged out Australia’s Caleb Ewan with Germany’s Phil Bauhaus third.
Britain’s Mark Cavendish, chasing a record-breaking 35th stage win, was further back in fifth.
Another British rider, Adam Yates, retains the leader’s yellow jersey.
Yates is six seconds ahead of his twin brother Simon and two-time winner Tadej Pogacar.
The final three kilometres of a relatively flat 181.8km stage were on the Nogaro motor racing circuit, featuring a wide, straight 800m run to the finish.
Yet riders went down in three separate incidents before Van der Poel launched 25-year-old Philipsen to the line, just as he had in Bayonne 24 hours earlier.
Cavendish, who finished sixth on Monday and is riding in his final Tour, was well placed at the start of the home straight but left his attack too late.
“Carnage, it was,” the Manxman told Eurosport afterwards. “Every team would have had a plan for that final and I bet you there weren’t any that went right, except maybe Jumbo-Visma getting their guys into the narrow roads.
“It was really a mixing pot of riders in the final. I was constantly analysing who was there, who had team-mates, jumping from train to train.
“When I saw Mads [Pedersen] had [Jasper] Stuyven with him, that’s the one, I thought Mads usually goes early, it’s a headwind finish on a long straight, wide road so I thought I’d use that and they just didn’t go.
“I was waiting. At one point I thought 350 metres, maybe I should hit now, limit my losses. It’s the Tour. You gamble. I was waiting for them to go and they didn’t go, they all got the jump so I was just trying to get the best position I could.”
Philipsen now has four stage wins at the Tour, but this one was so tight that he did not celebrate it as he crossed the line.
“It was close in the end so I was happy they confirmed it quickly,” said Philipsen.
“It was a really easy stage, I think everybody wanted to save their legs for the Pyrenees tomorrow and the day after. In the final kilometres entering the circuit there were some crashes so I hope everybody is OK and safe.
“It was a hectic final with the turns in the end and I lost my team as well, but in the final straight I found Mathieu and he did an amazing pull to get me to victory. My legs were cramping and Caleb was coming close.”
Cavendish will have to wait until Friday’s stage seven, which ends in Bordeaux, for his next realistic chance to break the record of wins that he shares with the legendary Eddy Merckx.The race enters the high mountains of the Pyrenees on Wednesday, with stage five including a 15.2km climb to the top of the Col de Soudet as part of a 162.7km route from Pau to Laruns.
Stage four results
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/Alpecin-Deceuninck) 4hrs 25mins 28secs
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto Dstny) Same time
3. Phil Bauhaus (Ger/Bahrain Victorious)
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra/Cofidis)
5. Mark Cavendish (GB/Astana Qazaqstan)
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe)
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Uno-X Pro Cycling)
8. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Team Jayco-AlUla)
9. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)
10. Mads Pedersen (Den/Lidl-Trek)
General classification after stage four
1. Adam Yates (GB/UAE Team Emirates) 18hrs 18mins 1sec
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +6secs
3. Simon Yates (GB/Team Jayco-AlUla) +6secs
4. Victor Lafay (Fra/Cofidis) +12secs
5. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +16secs
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +17secs
7. Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe) +22secs
8. Michael Woods (Can/Israel-Premier Tech) +22secs
9. Mattias Skjelmose (Den/Lidl-Trek) +22secs
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa/Ineos Grenadiers) +22secs