In what was otherwise an uneventful stage, the final kilometres once again saw a large crash, with Tyler Farrar and Peter Sagan among the victims.
The four-man breakaway, which went clear early on in the stage, was caught just metres from the line. Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) took the sprint early (thanks to leadout man, Daryl Impey) but was denied victory when Greipel swooped past him to take the win. JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) and Mark Cavendish (Sky) finished third and fourth respectively.
“I’m happy because I won another stage in the Tour de France,” said Greipel. “There was a bit of a crash and I was behind it at 3k to go, but Greg Henderson was waiting for me. The Lotto Belisol train was working perfectly today. It was a hard sprint, I think it was one of the hardest sprints I’ve ever done.”
Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) retains the yellow jersey that he has held since the prologue time trial on Saturday.