Jasper Philipsen won stage three of the Tour de France following a race jury decision ©Getty Images

Belgium's Jasper Philipsen pipped German Phil Bauhaus and Caleb Ewan of Australia to victory in stage three of cycling's Tour de France following a packed sprint finish.

A nervy wait was in store for Philipsen after the finish as he was taken out of the winner's enclosure and into the race jury headquarters to await confirmation.

The jury studied replays to decide whether he had veered off his line and boxed out compatriot Wout van Aert of Team Jumbo-Visma, causing him to ease up and drop back to fifth place.

The Team Alpecin-Deceuninck rider was eventually cleared of wrongdoing and wrapped up his third Tour stage win with a time of 4hours 43min 15sec.

"There was a bit of doubt but, yeah, they made it really exciting in the end," Philipsen said after his victory had been confirmed.

"It was tense but it's the Tour de France - there are no presents and everyone goes all-in.

"I think we can be really happy with our team performance today.

"We had a great lead-out with Jonas and then Mathieu, who did a fantastic job.

"It's amazing - if he has the space to go, for sure he has the speed, and you know that no other lead-out will pass.

"It was a tricky final with the S-bend and I tried to take the shortest route to the finish - and I'm really happy to get first over the line.

"The first sprint is always the most nervous because all the teams are fighting for the win."

The final seconds provided the most entertainment in an otherwise calm stage that saw Britain's Adam Yates of UAE Team Emirates keep the yellow jersey.

He has led the general classification since taking victory on the Grand Départ and currently holds a six-second lead over Slovenian teammate Tadej Pogačar following the 193.5-kilometres ride from Amorebieta-Etxano to Bayonne.

Yates' compatriot Mark Cavendish of Team Astana Qazaqstan finished sixth today in what was billed as his first chance to take a history-making 35th Tour de France stage win.

Another flat stage is scheduled tomorrow, which may give the Isle of Man rider another shot at history, as the riders travel 182km from Dax to Nogaro.