Mark Cavendish, Jose Joaquin Rojas, and Thor Hushovd were the tour's biggest name sprinters who made it to the end of Stage 10 in the 2011 Tour de France, but they were upstaged by Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel. The German rider beat the three of them in a sprint finish to grab the first Tour de France victory of his career.
Greipel is a great sprinter who has won two stages of the Giro d'Italia, four stages of the Vuelta a España, and the points classification in the 2009 edition of the latter race. Greipel, who has previously skipped the Tour during his season, finally duplicated those results from the other grand tours on Tuesday.
With 16 kilometers to go in the stage, the peloton caught the breakaway, which was much too early for the teams of the sprinters. Immediately after the initial break was caught, a new attack launched off the front with five riders, including green jersey holder and Greipel's teammate Phillipe Gilbert, along with yellow jersey holder Thomas Voeckler. Gilbert was the final survivor in the group, but he was eventually caught with seven kilometers to go.
There were a variety of small attacks from then until the finish, but the peloton stuffed all of them, setting up a sprint. Cavendish was well set up by his team, but was surprisingly beaten at the line by Greipel. Rojas and Hushovd were there as well, finishing in third and fourth places. Voeckler did more than enough to hold on to his yellow jersey, as he leads by nearly two minutes.