Australia’s Richie Porte was also brought down in the crash but was quickly back on his bike, while Froome took a little while longer to catch up.
Froome’s Sky teammate Geraint Thomas held on to the leader’s yellow jersey.
Froome and Porte were near the front of the peloton when a Katusha rider ahead of them lost control coming around a sharp turn with about 30 kilometres to go.
The domino reaction also took down last year’s runner-up, Romain Bardet.
Froome’s shorts and several layers of skin were torn and he had to change bikes as three teammates paced him back to the peloton.
In winning the bunched sprint to the line Kittel managed to hold off Arnaud Demare and Andre Greipel while Australia’s Michael Matthews finished ninth on the stage.
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