Germany's Marcel Kittel (centre front) on Tuesday won his third out of four stages so far in the 2014 Tour de France. Norwegian Alexander Kristoff came in second place followed by Frenchman Arnaud Démare on the route from Le Touquet to Lille.
Kittel, who won the first and third stages also, now has seven Tour stages to his name.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey after spending a quiet day in the peloton.
Defending British champion Chris Froome fell off his bike five kilometres into the 163.5-km ride from Le Touquet, sustaining a possible wrist injury and bruising his left hip, shoulder, knee and elbow.
"It's alright, it's alright. We got really scared because it was a heavy fall but he seems to be OK. He says it's OK," said Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal.
Froome, fifth overall and two seconds behind Nibali, crashed on the same side during last month's Criterium du Dauphine.
His wrist will be put to the test on the cobblestones that mark Wednesday's 155.5-km fifth stage from Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.
The wind caused a split in the peloton some 60km from the finish with Pole Michal Kwiatkowski being trapped behind, but he was brought back by his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates.
Slovakian Peter Sagan fell off his bike with less than 20km left but made it back into the group.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-07-08