Britain's Chris Froome hailed the contribution of his Team Sky teammates after gaining significant time on his Tour de France rivals and surging into the top 10 of the general classification during stage two yesterday.
Fellow Briton and Etixx-Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish finished fourth on the 166km route from Utrecht to Zeeland, which was dominated by howling winds and rain, as his wait for a 26th Tour de France stage win went on.
Froome placed seventh on stage two, four seconds ahead of two-time winner Alberto Contador in 13th and one minute and 28 seconds in front of defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Colombia's Nairo Quintana.
"It was great to be up there with G [Geraint Thomas] and Yogi [Ian Stannard] at the end," said Froome. "They did a great job in keeping me protected. This is their playground and the classics style of racing is what they were born to do."
The stage victory belonged to Lotto Soudal rider Andre Greipel as Slovakia's Peter Sagan came second and Swiss Fabian Cancellara third, with the latter claiming the yellow jersey. Welshman Thomas finished 12th and moved fifth overall.