• Thibaut Pinot's GC hopes have been dashed. (AAP)Source: AAP
A furious Thibaut Pinot has seen his hopes of a return to the Tour de France podium dashed after a mechanical saw him lose more than three minutes on Stage 4 of this year's race.
Cycling Central

8 Jul 2015 - 7:28 AM  UPDATED 8 Jul 2015 - 9:50 AM

Stage 4 Extras
Contador keeps pace with rivals despite broken wheel
Broken wheels and fruitless attacks characterised a tense day for the overall favourites as the Tour de France hit the cobbles on Stage 4.
GC stalemate on the cobbles as Martin strikes it fourth time lucky
Anticipation was high that the Tour de France would experience another dramatic day of racing but all the major general classification contenders held their nerve as Tony Martin took the stage honours and his maiden yellow jersey.

The FDJ.fr rider was the most high-profile victim of the cobbles, suffering a puncture on the penultimate section of pave. While Pinot admitted he could have taken team-mate Mathieu Ladagnous's bike, he chose to wait for the team car instead owing to Ladanous being 10cm taller than Pinot.

However, Pinot was waiting a long time because of the car being a long way back in the convoy. Ultimately, the Frenchman ended up losing 3min 23sec. Combined with  time losses on previous stages, this puts him 30th on the general classification list, 6min 30sec behind new race leader Tony Martin.

”I had a mechanical and then it went full gas," raged Pinot. "It's a shame.

"When you have car number 13, you must expect to wait for your car a long time,” he added. "I could have received assistance  from Mathieu Ladagnous, who is much taller than me," he continued. "Now I will try to recover with time. I'm going to finish the Tour and try to prove that my talent is still there.”

Pinot is widely regarded as one of France's brightest talents, finishing third in the 2014 Tour de France. However, it looks like his quest for overall success this year is already over.