Geraint Thomas (Barloworld) avoided the crash near the Tour of Britain stage four finish, but was unlucky during the stage after a puncture forced him to drop back from the chasers that went after the early break in the Forest of Bowland.
Thomas has fought back from a broken hip and scaphoid this season and was finally on form and good enough to challenge for success at the Tour of Britain. Fate and a slow wheel change ended his chances.
He had joined Vladimir Karpets (Katusha), 2008 Tour of Britain winner Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) and Maxime Monfort (Columbia-HTC) in the attack on the climbs.
The three eventually caught the early move and they almost stayed away. Thomas would have done generous turns on the front and so his contribution could have made the difference, making victory possible. And Thomas knew it.
"It's the story of my f***ing season..." he said bitterly at the finish.
"I was feeling good and we were going across the gap quickly because it was a good group of riders but then I got a slow puncture."
To make matters worse, the SRAM neutral service was slow at getting him a wheel and clearly has little professional road race experience.
"We'd just gone away, so there was no neutral service. Eventually some guy did stop but I don't know what he does for a living. Maybe he sells chips but he doesn't change wheels, that's for sure," Thomas said after the finish.
"Afterwards he started walking off and I even had to say 'Any chance of a push, mate?'"
"I wanted to attack because I was frustrated yesterday after I got blocked in during the sprint. Karpets went away and then there were four of us away. I was feeling good, cruising up the climbs. Then I got a puncture and it was game over."
Wilkinson battered after stage four
Wiggins quits ToB to focus on TT World Champs
Stage four: Boasson Hagen takes his second stage
Stage three: Hagen does it again in Gretna
Stage two: Dutchman Reus wins second stage
Stage one: Sutton wins opening stage
Tour of Britain 2009: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Can a British rider win the Tour of Britain?
British pros head home to fight for Worlds places
Halfords hit the Tour of Britain
Rapha-Condor names Tour of Britain squad
Cavendish to miss Tour of Britain
Katusha and Rabobank announce Tour of Britain teams
Tour of Britain and Tour Series on ITV4
Tour of Britain 2009 route unveiled
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