On what was arguably the most exciting day's racing in the Tour in living memory we saw a different side of team Saxo Bank and cobbles specialist Fabian Cancellara.
Just one day after Spartacus led a revolt to get stage three to Spa neutralised following a grim succession of nasty spills involving GC riders in general, and team-mates Frank and Andy Schleck in particular, Cancellara did what he does best: rip the field apart with a devastating display of pavé perfection.
And yet Cancellara had a huge decision to make when Frank Schleck hit the deck on the decisive Sars-et-Rosieres section of cobbles 25km from the finish. Was the Swiss going to remain loyal to the principles he obeyed so stringently on Monday and wait for a team-mate in distress - not to mention the likes of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, who had been held up by the incident?
Was he hell. Cancellara spotted an opportunity and went for the jugular, regaining the maillot jaune and guiding Andy Schleck back up the overall standings in one fell swoop.
"When we heard that he'd crashed, I told Andy not to look back and to go for it," the mouth above Cancellara's imperial chin admitted. "It was a great chance to take time off Contador and Armstrong and that's what we did. Today was not the time to wait. It's part of the game, sorry."
So, in summation: it's OK for Saxo Bank to ignore the carnage behind when it suits the team's strategy.
In fact, a Saxo sauce - sorry, source - even admitted to Saddles that there is a quasi-mathematical formula for the team's riders to follow in the event of tumbles. Two Schlecks down equals stage neutralisation; Andy Schleck down equals send-for-Frank and all-hands-on-deck; Frank Schleck down equals send-Jens-back-but-forget-it.
To be frank, to be Frank is to be expendable - for Frank is nothing without his brother (to be quite frank).
All that said - it made obvious sense to leave the older whippet sprawled in the dirt and writhing in agony. Schleck Senior's Tour hopes were as broken as his collarbone the moment he lost control of his bike. Saxo's job was to turn the nightmare round into something memorable. And that they did.
Saddles can honestly say that he hasn't enjoyed a stage in the Tour so much for a very long time. It was real pant-changing stuff. So much happened in such a short space of time - it was like watching an entire mountain stage on fast forward.
People will have their opinions about Cancellara and Saxo Bank, but they rode stage three like troopers from the moment they crossed into France from Belgium. Jens Voigt was a beast as he drove the peloton forward, shelling Astana riders like prawns for a big paella.
Cancellara is a joy to watch on the cobbles; his languid style is so easy on the eye and at times he doesn't even use his hands, choosing to rest his wrists on the handlebars instead as he motors along.
The Swiss regained his yellow usurped by Sylvain Chavanel in the Ardennes 24 hours earlier - but it was Schleck Junior's titanic ride alongside him that made the biggest ripples. After a wretched prologue and the horrific crashes that followed, Andy is right back in the mix.
A massive chapeau goes out to both Geraint Thomas and Cadel Evans for supreme rides, while Big Thor Hushovd got the stage - and green jersey - he was so cruelly denied by Cancellara on Monday.
Much had been said of Contador's fear of pavé - cobbles being as unpopular as vegetables in Spain - but in the end all that hard work with Peter van Petegem paid off.
In fact, it was Armstrong who was the slight loser of the day after he suffered an untimely puncture. But if you insist on riding in the gutter, that's a risk you take.
Quote of the day: "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and sometimes you're the hammer and sometimes you're the nail. Today, I was the nail." Where's a power drill when you need it, eh, Lance?
Word of the day: HTCP - n. Colombian ointment favoured by professional cyclists to disinfect nasty gashes.
Stat of the day: 103 of the 192 Tour riders at the start today had previously raced Paris-Roubaix in the past. So, not that many novices after all Mr Horner.
Picture of the day: Is this a fake or an example of Armstrong's continued goading of Contador? http://yfrog.com/3uzb0j
Stage four prediction: Well, we're five days into the Tour and still we haven't seen a regular bunch sprint. Given Cav's form and Farrar's fitness, Hushovd looks the best bet if it comes down to a dash, but following the brutal nature of the last two days, a bunch sprint may not be guaranteed - especially if teams don't have the energy to chase down any ambitious escapees.
For a fun prediction, remember that Reims is the capital of Champagne and that Dimitri Champion's name reims - sorry, rhymes - with Dom Perignon.
Plat du jour: Traditional crunchy pink biscuits from Reims accompanied by a large flute of local Champagne.
Peleton prattle: Which rider has better luck predicting Netherlands scores in the World Cup than he does keeping his wrists in tip-top condition when touring France?
Uses for Frank Schleck #1: Crash test dummy or a broken lollypop stick.
Follow Blazin' Saddles throughout the Tour on www.twitter.com/saddleblaze.