It was another big day out for Romain Sicard on Thursday, but yet again luck wasn't forthcoming for the young Frenchman.
In his first breakaway attempt in this Tour, he flatted at the worst possible time and was caught out when the attacks went. On today's 12th stage, just after having joined the day's main break alongside four others, he began suffering from stomach aches.
It got so bad that it stopped him from eating all day long. When the others decided to go for the intermediate sprint, Sicard was running on empty and did the only sensible thing in easing up. With some 40 clicks to go, he was back in the fold.
"I was unlucky as my stomach started to trouble me right from the off", he said. "We were going really fast, it cost a lot of energy, and I didn't eat at all. That ended up costing me.
"It was looking very unlikely that the group would go all the way, so I decided to sit up. I was feeling completely empty".
One who wasn't feeling empty at all by the look of it was Juan José Lobato.
The team's hombre rápido was once again in the mix and eventually came home in ninth - his third top ten in his maiden Tour. Another chance beckons tomorrow as the pack makes its way to Saint-Amand-Montrond.
- (1, Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), 4:49:49)
- 9, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
- 39, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
- 75, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
- 77, Mikel Astarloza, s.t.
- 78, Igor Antón, s.t.
- 106, Juan José Oroz, s.t.
- 126, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
- 127, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
- 170, Romain Sicard, 4:01
Photo: Le Tour