Demare wins Tour de France stage four; Thomas, Cavendish crash

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French champion Arnaud Demare claimed his maiden Tour de France stage win when he powered to victory in a crash-marred finale on the fourth day on Tuesday after a 207.5-km ride from Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg.

Yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas hit the deck in the crash near the end, but as the incident occurred within the final three kilometres he will be credited with the same time as the winner.

Both Thomas and defending champion Chris Froome, who was held up behind the pile-up, are fine, Team Sky said.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish came down in a separate crash within a hundred metres of the finish line after being elbowed off balance by world champion Peter Sagan, who took second place but could face disqualification from the race over the incident.

The Briton of the Dimension Data team eventually got back on his bike and crossed the line after being attended to by race medics.

Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) came home third as FDJ rider Demare, who has been in impressive form lately, had time to raise his arms in celebration before crossing the line.

Demare took the green jersey for the points classification in the process.

Wednesday's fifth stage should see the top guns in action as the 160.5-km ride from Vittel will end up La Planche des Belles Filles, a lung-busting 5.9-km climb at an average gradient of 8.5 percent.

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