Mark Cavendish will have to wait for another chance to move up a place in the Tour de France's record books.
Cav was aiming to win his 25th Tour stage - enough to move level with Andre Leducq for third all-time - following victory in Marseille yesterday, but there was the rare sight of the Manxman coming up short in a bunch sprint finish as he gave up the chase on Andre Greipel, apparently feeling the affects of a crash late in today's 176.5km stage from Aix-en-Provence.
It was not the encore Cavendish was hoping for after he scored his first win of this year's Tour in Marseille yesterday.
His day began with an unwelcome call from the anti-doping unit at 6.30am, and he may be in for another interrupted night's sleep thanks to injuries to his back and shoulder.
Cavendish was in no mood to talk after the stage, but Omega Pharma-Quick Step general manager Patrick Lefevere said the Manxman was understandably upset.
"It's the Tour de France. One day it's all okay, the next day it's all going wrong," Lefevere said.
"Mark crashed at the wrong moment because he had to chase back. Peter (Velits) bought him back to the front but the team was working very hard the whole day and I think the stress of the whole day, it kills you.
"The team were early on the front and maybe a little bit too early. But afterwards it's always easy. If you win everybody's happy. If you lose everyone looks for why you didn't win.
"[Cav] was angry. It's normal," Lefevere added.
"If you think you can win your 25th victory in the Tour de France, it's important, but everything went so well yesterday, it was just a little bit too difficult today."
Asked about Cavendish's injuries, the team's sport and development manager Rolf Aldag said: "I think the biggest injury is the disappointment at not winning the stage. The team tried to but we didn't execute it and I think that's what bothers him the most.
"There's the heat, the sun and losing some skin, he will have some pain, but I'm not a doctor so I can't comment on how bad his injuries are."
While Omega Pharma-Quick Step could not get it done today, Lotto-Belisol executed a fine lead-out to propel Greipel to victory, putting the German second ahead of Cavendish in the points race.
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