Where Were You?
An ill timed flat tire or other mechanical failure can ruin a rider's chances on a stage. Sometimes it can even ruin the rider's aspirations for a high placed finish in the Tour all together. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) had just that happen to him on his second trip across the section of pave connecting Fontaine-au-Tertre and Quievy. Apparently he couldn't find his soigneur and then the wheel change took longer than he would have liked. It seems that he turned to give his helper a rather unkind ear full. Later he had to change bikes, slamming the malfunctioning one as he waited for the team car to bring him another. Pinot finished third last year, and felt sure that any chance of repeating his podium appearance just disappeared in the dust of Northern France.