Mark Cavendish was pipped to the line as German rival Marcel Kittel claimed the 12th stage of the Tour de France in Tours.
The British road race champion usually wins when he takes the lead in the closing metres but Kittel surged through to snatch the victory while green jersey Peter Sagan rounded out the top three.
British rider Chris Froome maintained his overall race lead of three minutes 25 seconds over Alejandro Valverde but it was another tough day for his Team Sky squad.
They lost key team member Edvald Boasson Hagen, who fractured his right scapula and was forced to abandon.
Double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas is already competing through the pain of a fractured pelvis while Vasil Kiryienka was forced out the race after missing the time cut last Sunday.
"It’s a real shame for Edvald and a setback for the team that he’s been forced to abandon the race," said team principal Sir David Brailsford.
"It’s never nice to lose a rider of Edvald’s ability, but ultimately we’re still confident that with the riders we’ve got left we can pull together and see the race through.
"The plan doesn't change and we will do everything we can to support Chris [Froome]."
© Sportsbeat 2013