There was a stunned reaction from Eurosport's commentators as key Ineos Grenadiers rider Adam Yates got dropped in a dramatic moment on Stage 17 at the Tour de France.
All the pre-stage hype involved experts imploring Ineos to "have no regrets" and making it abundantly clear that "they have to go for it" to take the race to UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma.
Ineos already boasted a clear numerical advantage over their general classification rivals - UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma - as the race reaches its business end in the Pyrenees. The team then received a further boost as Rafal Majka suffered a muscle tear and could not start Stage 17 for UAE Team Emirates.
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It represented another blow to Tadej Pogacar's hopes of snatching back the yellow jersey from Jonas Vingegaard and a fillip for Geraint Thomas and Ineos as he remained in contention.
But to everyone's surprise, Ineos stuttered badly with 53km remaining on a climb on Wednesday and Yates "capitulated" when he had been expected to be helping to haul Thomas up into an attack.
"Oh, that's Yates!" exclaimed Dan Lloyd, on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
"If you had told me that Yates would be dropped in the high mountains, I would not have believed you. I think we have to remember that he got Covid at the Tour de Suisse leading into this, so he had very few race days and had to take time off the bike to recover from that.
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"He is clearly paying for that lack of riding and preparation to this point, but a big disappointment for the Ineos Grenadiers."
Rob Hatch added: "Deary me! This is one of the first victims. Adam Yates is going out the back with 53km to go, he is on the radio, and this is a worry for the Ineos Grenadiers.
"One of the cards they could have played today is being ripped up! Geraint Thomas remains their sole GC man, as Yates is dropped off the back.
"Adam Yates does not like this area. He is off the back and struggling."
Later on, Robbie McEwen added that it was a "complete capitulation" as Yates dropped further off the back of the peloton during the stage.
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Prior to the day's racing, Eurosport's Adam Blythe had said it was a crucial moment for Ineos to seize the initiative with their numerical advantage.
"I think bringing that morale into the team and allowing riders to do what they want creates a good atmosphere within the team," Blythe said.
"It is not like each rider is feeling like they are being held back and not being able to do what they want to do, which is ultimately, to go and race.
"I think now the stage they are in at the race, the full concentration is on the GC. This, for me, is the day they have to send not just Adam Yates, but Tom Pidcock, up the road.
"They have got to risk it with Geraint going up the road. They might let him, they might not, but it is going to be very difficult for him to get anywhere.
"I think the other two [Yates and Pidcock] they might give a bit of room to, but even that - UAE and Jumbo-Visma will just say this morning, 'don't let Adam Yates go up the road and don't let Tom Pidcock go up the road'. Simple as that."
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