Andre Greipel beat his former teammate and bitter sprint rival Mark Cavendish but their head to head sprint was only the closing act of a thrilling finale to Carmaux that saw both Thomas Voeckler and Philippe Gilbert on the attack.
Gilbert used the short but painful final climb to attack the peloton. He got away with Voeckler and others as the green and yellow jersey wearers laid down their panache. Gilbert was riding for the stage victory and more precious green jersey points. It didn't quite come off but his final last dig cost HTC-Highroad dearly and helped Greipel in the sprint.
Beer for the stage: Red Hill Brewery Imperial Stout. Jet Black and one to be savoured. The mouth feel is silky smooth, the nose has roasted malt and a touch of caramel. A rich deep mocha and coffee flavour, is accentuated with caramel and smoky flavours. Willamette and Goldings hops were used in 3 additions to create a ale with a big bitterness and an assertive hop character. Another beer on the UCI banned substances list, but that didnt stop Katusha's Alexandr Kolobnev testing positive for it in the first week of the Tour, following an empty bottle of Imperial Stout being found in the team hotel minibar.