INEOS Grenadiers' Michal Kwiatkowski decimated the bunch in the final 30kms forcing a split in the crosswinds that caught out Australian Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), team mate Bauke Mollema and Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Emirates).
Pogačar, Porte and Esteban Chaves finished the stage one minute and 21 seconds behind Kwiatkowski's front group where team mate Egan Bernal and Jumbo-Visma's Tom Dumoulin, Primož Roglič were safely ensconced.
"Obviously we made the first front group but we got caught out a bit there which is not ideal," Porte said.
"But it's far from a huge disaster for us knowing what's coming up in the next two weeks."
"Of course you don't want that to happen but at least now we're more into our terrain the next couple of days so we just have to get on with it and try and make amends a little bit tomorrow.
"Now we're not so close on GC hopefully we'll have a little more breathing space on the next stages."
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) missed out on contesting the last chance for the sprinters before the race heads to the Pyrenees after BORA-hansgrohe split the race not long after kilometre zero.
Seeking a return to the green jersey for Peter Sagan, BORA-hansgrohe drove the pace hard on the first climb then capitalised on the crosswinds to force Sam Bennett (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) further back down the road in one group and Ewan behind in another.
The Aussie fastman rolled home 15 minutes and 54 seconds behind stage winner Wout van Aert and the main bunch.
The Tour de France continues with Stage 8 as the race ventures into the Pyrenees, cresting the hard climbs of the Port de Bales and the Col de Peyresourde. Watch LIVE on SBS and SBS On Demand from 9:30pm AEST.