Chris Froome crashed, completed the final climb on teammate Geraint Thomas’ bike and finished tenth on the stage – but still increased his lead in the Tour de France.
The Team Sky man skidded on the final descent from Megeve as the wet roads and painted lines made for treacherous conditions.
Froome’s closest overnight rival, Bauke Mollema, also succumbed to the conditions though and dropped out of contention in the race, falling from second overall to tenth.
Frenchman Romain Bardet won the stage with an attack on the final climb of the day to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.
Froome finished 36s down on the AG2R La Mondiale rider with compatriot Adam Yates a further 20s behind in 13th place.
Bardet’s margin of victory means he now sits second in the general classification (GC), 4min11sec behind Froome, with the Brit just happy to have survived his crash without serious injury.
"Ironically, I was trying to stay safe but I hit one of the white lines and lost my front wheel," said the two-time Tour winner.
"I'm lucky nothing is seriously injured. I lost some skin and banged my knee a little bit but today I'm grateful to have that four-minute advantage to fall on.
"It was great to have team-mates around me, Wout Poels in particular. It feels good to be one day closer to the finish. Today showed exactly why I thought the Tour was not over.
"I knew the car was quite a while back and my bike wasn't rideable, so thanks a lot to Geraint for his bike. It was alright."
Yates slipped out of the podium positions after being dropped on the final climb, with Movistar’s Nairo Quintana leapfrogging him into third.
The Orica-BikeExchange rider is still in the white jersey though and only 19s behind the Colombian, but said no matter what happens in the remaining three stages, his second Tour has been a success.
“It's my first bad day at the Tour de France, so I can be satisfied,” said the 23-year-old.
“I didn't come to the race for riding GC and I'm fourth overall with the white jersey on my shoulders. It's not that bad.
“Now I have to keep it till Paris.”
Saturday sees the last true test for the GC riders with a 146.5km run from Megeve to Morzine over four categorised climbs, including the 1,691m Col de Joux Plane just 12km from the finish.