Team Sky remain strong contenders to win today's team time trial in Nice but admit their hopes have been hit by the extent of Geraint Thomas' injuries.
Thomas rode into Tour de France folklore yesterday by completing the twisty, mountainous stage three to Calvi, despite being diagnosed with a cracked pelvis suffered in a spectacular crash on Saturday's opening stage to Bastia.
The former track cycling world champion and double Olympic gold medallist's skills as a pursuit rider had made him a big part of Team Sky's plans for the time trial - Richie Porte described him as "crucial" to the team - but now his goal will simply be survival somewhere off the back.
"It's very frustrating but I was really looking forward to that and we have a strong team for that, but it's turned more into survival over these first few days," Thomas said.
"I am going to have to do a decent time tomorrow just to get under the time limit. It could end up being an individual time trial for me."
While Team Sky's time will be determined by their fifth rider to cross the line, Thomas must finish within 125 per cent of the winning team's mark in order to avoid disqualification.
The greater threat to his continued participation in the Tour are his injuries.
Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford admitted the situation was a "concern", but was relaxed about how it might affect their central goal of getting Chris Froome into the yellow jersey.
"I said in the first press conference that we thought we'd lose someone along the way at some point, we don't know who, we don't know when," he said.
"We have all our contingencies in place for this type of eventuality. We knew it'd happen. But let's not be too pessimistic. We won the Tour last year with eight guys, and we've still got nine guys now."
Last year, Team Sky lost Kanstantsin Siutsou to a broken rib suffered on stage three, but that did not stop Sir Bradley Wiggins from becoming the first British winner of the Tour.
Thomas is still desperate to do his bit in helping Froome emulate that achievement, but knows he must listen to his body.
"I have come here to do a job with the boys but if after a few days the pain is still there then there is no point suffering just to finish," he said.
"I have not come here just to do a lap of France.
"It's hard to say what the odds are of me getting to Paris. It is just one of those things that you have got to take it day by day."
Yesterday's bunch sprint finish - taken by Orica GreenEdge rider Simon Gerrans to give the Australian team cause for celebration following their now infamous bus crash on stage one - meant there is still only one second between Jan Bakelants in the yellow jersey and the main field of contenders.
As such, the yellow jersey is almost certain to change hands on the streets of Nice today, and Froome would be happy to take it.
"I wouldn't say no," he said. "If it did happen, we'd be thrilled to bits."
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