Tour de France: Chris Froome out in front as riders get hurt in pile-up
Chris Froome showed his strength - and took the race leader's yellow jersey - with second place on a stage three of the Tour de France affected by a high-speed crash.
The 159.5-kilometres third stage from Antwerp to the Mur de Huy was stopped for around 10 minutes due to a lack of medical cover after a huge 50kph crash involving leader Fabian Cancellara (Trek) caused chaos around 80km from the finish.
The 1.3km finishing ascent was still to come and 2013 champion Froome (Team Sky) took to the front with 500m to go, followed by Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) shadowed Rodriguez's surge and Froome followed too before finishing second to the Spaniard.
It meant Froome gained more valuable seconds over his main rivals for the race victory in Paris on July 26, with Contador, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) all trailing the Briton.
Froome paid tribute to his team-mates for helping him to avoid the crash, saying: "A huge thank you to my team-mates today - they just turned themselves inside out to keep me always at the front of the race.
"Today was treacherous, lots of crashes again.
"I just couldn't be happier to be in yellow going into the cobbled stage tomorrow."