Marcel Kittel won the close and massed bunch sprint in Liège, although the day's two breakaways nearly made it to the line. They were swallowed up just over one kilometre from the finish. After his illness Mark Cavendish must be pretty satisfied with his fourth place. He had latched onto Marcel Kittel's wheel but didn't have the pace nor really the space to come through. Kittel moved up to 3rd overall. He now has 10 TDF stage wins to his name just one behind André Griepel.
This would have suited Valverde but he is out after his crash in the TT. Contenders for the stage include Philippe Gilbert, Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet, Dan Martin and Edvard Boassen Hagen as well as the overall contenders. Chris Froome has shown good form on these types of finish. Nor can you discount Richie Porte. Overall contenders are unlikely to lose any significant time but gaining a few seconds is always good for morale.
With an uphill finish splits on the line are back to one second.
It is just possible that rather than a procession to the final hill that some riders will look to shake up the race over the lumpy terrain. Let's hope so!