Mark Cavendish's bid for the yellow jersey ended in a heap as the Manxman tumbled to the tarmac in a dramatic conclusion to the opening stage of the 101st Tour de France in Harrogate.
Cavendish was bidding for a 26th Tour stage win of his career in his mother's home town and a first yellow jersey, but collided with Australian Simon Gerrans in the final 500 metres and was seen clutching his shoulder and midrift as he rolled over the line.
Cavendish was aiming to emulate Tom Simpson, Chris Boardman, Sean Yates, David Millar, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome by becoming the seventh Briton to wear the fabled maillot jaune.
He was well-positioned entering the final kilometre before Fabian Cancellara launched a surprise attack.
The sprinters' teams regrouped, though, and Kittel powered away to the line ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) as Cavendish's dream ended in tatters.