Mathieu van der Poel, Mike Teunissen and Yves Lampaert all took three bonus seconds as they each won an intermediate sprint.
With 4.5km to go a big crash in the peloton led to a huge pile-up. A number of riders were knocked off their bikes and several were left nursing injuries after a touch of wheels.
Pascal Ackermann launched his sprint too early and Philipsen fired from a long way back to weave his way past to take his fourth career victory.
“It was quite easy, a two guy break so it was quite relaxed,” Philipsen said. “Everybody knew it would be a bunch sprint today. A lot of team had interest in that, then it was quite hectic in the end while everybody was still fresh.
“I’m happy I could stay out of trouble and that I could finish it off in the first stage.”
— BinckBank Tour (@BinckBankTour) September 29, 2020