Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) and Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) emerged with the king of the mountains and sprint jersey respectively after Stage 3 of the Tour de France.
Cosnefroy was the holder of the polka dots at the start of the stage, despite being on the same number of points as Anthony Perez (Cofidis) the AG2R rider was ahead on countback rules by virtue of being in a superior general classification position.
The two went into battle early in the stage, with Perez taking the top points on the Col du Pilon and the Col de la Faye, before Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Energie) attacked and set off solo, with Perez and Cosnefroy dropping back to the peloton.
Cosnefroy snuck a point on the Col de Leques, with Perez still assured of the polka dot jersey at the stage end if he finished the race. Unfortunately, Perez was involved with a collision with his own team car after a sudden braking in the car convoy that follows the peloton while the French rider was returning from a tyre puncture.
Doctors found an open fracture of the 11th rib, a moderate lung contusion and a pneumothorax, according to the Cofidis press release. Perez is expected to remain for several days under observation at Digne-les-Bains hospital, where Cofidis team doctor Michel Cerfontaine and general manager Cédric Vasseur joined him at the end of the stage.
"This is a very sad news for the whole team," said Vasseur. "It’s a big injustice that Anthony had to leave the roads of the Tour de France.
"Even though he has remained conscious and his condition is stable, the medical diagnosis is relatively heavy. He really wanted today to get the points for the polka dot jersey. Unfortunately, his hopes for the jersey were dashed in a fraction of a second. We all wish him a fast recovery."
Cosnefroy finished the stage and holds the jersey with 21 points to his name over his nearest rival Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling) on 12 points. Cosnefroy will likely hold the mountains jersey at least until the conclusion of the sixth stage, with the summit finish tomorrow - which holds 20 points - likely to be won by a rider without points in the classification yet.
In the battle for the green jersey, all eyes were on the finale to the stage, with the intermediate sprint located just over 27 kilometres from the finish. Daniel Oss (BORA-hansgrohe) took up a furious pace in the run into the sprint in Digne-Les-Bains, with Peter Sagan coming off his teammate's wheel to take 17 points, in particular securing points over green jersey incumbent Alexander Kristoff (+6) and Irish sprinter Bennett (+8) that would propel him into the points classification lead at the end of the stage.
Sagan hit out uncharacteristically early into the headwind sprint to the finish line, hitting the front early then fading as Bennett, then Ewan came sweeping past. Ultimately, Sagan finished fifth on the stage, scoring enough points to pull on his first green jersey of this year's Tour de France.
Tomorrow's summit finish to Orcières-Merlette will be his 126th day in the lead of the Tour de France green jersey in his career. He currently holds a tally of 79 points, Kristoff is on 77, while Bennett is on 74. Stage 3 winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) is on 50 points and isn't contesting intermediate sprints, after declaring before the race that he won't look to compete for the green jersey as he believes it's too hard to win.
In the yellow jersey fight, Julian Alaphlippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) stayed out of trouble during the stage and finished on bunch time. He still leads Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) by four seconds and Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) by 7 seconds, with the majority of the general classification contenders 17 seconds adrift.
The white jersey for the best young rider is held by Hirschi, though this is likely to change tomorrow as the elite climbers come to the fore on the summit finish.
The Tour de France continues with the first summit finish of the race, the Orcières-Merlette, with coverage from 9.15pm AEST on the SBS SKODA Tour Tracker, 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND and 10.30pm on SBS HD.