A good perspective of the bleak landscape and the split caused by the strong winds
The first sprint finish of this year's race came down to Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha vs. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step. Note the strong crosswind.
Boonen checks his margin of victory (No Cavendish in the picture... he punctured two kilometres from the line)
The victory salute. The winning time was 2.34.53 (54 km/h)
Boonen on the Persian rug decorated podium