But this was not a repeat of Tuesday's relaxed ride around the Dordogne for the general classification contenders as the threat of crosswinds made for a nervy day, perhaps contributing to a number of crashes.
There was no major change in the overall standings, with Aru still trailing 18 seconds behind Froome and Frenchman Romain Bardet in third place, 51 seconds back.
Jakob Fuglsang - fifth overall - hit the deck along with team-mate Dario Cataldo.
Wednesday's 203.5km stage from Eymet to Pau provided some riders, including yellow jersey owner Christopher Froome, enough comfort before they addressed the challenge ahead.
"The rest day on Monday was most welcome and then I was feeling a lot better yesterday and quite involved in the sprint".
"It was a nervous day", Froome said of the crashes.
"It's a fourth stage win in 10 days, that's a great achievement for me and the team".
The peloton hunted down lone escapee Maciej Bodnar (BORA-hansgrohe) in final few hundred metres, with Kittel again bursting clear of the pack to take his fifth win of this edition of the Tour. At first it looked like a desparation move from a man looking for a last helping of TV time for a team that has already lost its two leading riders, Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka.
"Aru, Bardet, who knows if they are going to really race?" said LeMond, who believes Froome's rivals have no real wish to go for the throat. 'It is a lifetime experience.' Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of LottoNL-Jumbo was second ahead of Team Dimension Data's Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen. "The race [for the green jersey] is not over but I've used all my chances that I've got so far".
"As Roly was saying, you just gotta follow and be smart".
The Tour kicks off in the Pyrenees on Stage 12 which covers 214.5 km with six category climbs.
"I think we were in the middle of the road at the time so I thought either way I can try and jump".
"So much can happen between now and Paris, but I love the Pyrenees and I've always raced well there". "Talks are ongoing with several teams", he said.
On Thursday July 13, 1967, Simpson pushed his final pedal stroke on the unforgiving ascent of Mont Ventoux after the rider collapsed in the heat.
Simpson, Britain's first world champion and the first Brit to wear yellow, died when he collapsed on the mountain during the 1967 Tour.
Degenkolb said after the stage that Kittel was from "another planet" and he certainly seems peerless in the race this year, winning four of the five bunch sprints he has contested.
"It's incredible because even being at the top of your game, you're never sure to win".