With barely 500m to go Bodnar was swept up, and from there it was just a matter of watching the peerless Kittel powering to a fifth stage win of this year's Tour. Having led out the sprint in Bergerac, the Fortuneo-Oscaro rider opted to remain in the shelter this time, but he was little nearer to Kittel, reflecting the reality that all the sprinters are scrabbling for whatever crumbs the German drops their way.
Matthews sat outside the Team Sunweb bus with his head in his hands for several minutes after the finish before being consoled by teammate Nikias Arndt.
How do you beat Marcel Kittel in a sprint?
The Pyrenees loom in the distance, but the peloton at the Tour de France won't reach them until Thursday.
"I think we were in the middle of the road at the time so I thought either way I can try and jump. We're going to have to get ready to go to war again".
"I didn't speak with Peter Sagan about today's stage, but for sure, if he was here today I wouldn't be in the breakaway but fighting for a victory for him in the sprint", Bodnar said. All day they were on it, keeping me in a great position. "It's true, it's awesome, I can't even tell you how proud I am", said the Quick-Step sprinter. But after 125 miles in the lead, the 32-year-old was caught by the peloton in Stage 11 on Wednesday. "It's still a long way to go". I certainly haven't secured the white jersey yet. But with this finish it's disappointing.
Chris Froome of Team Sky retains the race leader's yellow jersey ahead of stages in the Pyrenees over the next two days.
"Kittel was the strongest, he came from behind", Bouhanni said.
"It's by far not decided".
"The number one priority is not to allow some guys to come back into the GC game and of course for me personally to keep a close eye on Aru", he said. "I'm not expecting anything insane, but sometimes it's when you don't expect things that they happen". The stage features six categorized climbs - including one Hors Categorie, but Tour organizers have disappointingly chosen a route that sees the stage conclude on a less-demanding category 2 climb. I never made a mistake, all the lines were flawless.
"The last 20km was my best time trial but I'm not happy about today - I can be happy about my legs but not about the result".