Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) escaped serious injury in a crash during stage 4 at the Tour de Suisse Tuesday. Thomas was forced to abandon the race and was taken for m,edical check to a nearby hospital, where doctors confirmed he suffered abrasions on his shoulder and a cut above his right eye, but there were no other injuries.
"Geraint took a heavy fall," Team Ineos doctor Derick Macleod said in a team press release. "The main area of impact was to his head. He passed his initial concussion roadside test, but with the nature and severity of the impact, it was felt unsafe for him to continue in the race. He was taken to hospital and thankfully all the X-rays and scans have come back clear. He's now back in the team hotel and in good spirits.
"He's been given the all clear, which is great, but we will continue to monitor him over the next few days," Macleod said. "Knowing Geraint, it won’t take him long to get back on his bike, but we'll need to ensure he's symptom free in the next few days before he does so. We're optimistic he'll make a full recovery over the coming days, though, and all being well he'll be back on his bike very soon."
Thomas crashed with 30km to go on stage 4's 163.9km route from Murten to Arlesheim. The crash occurred immediately after the intermediate sprint. Live TV footage showed Thomas sit up and move both of his shoulders as he talked to the medical staff by the roadside. He had visible cuts to his back and right side, as well as a cut just above his right eye.
"There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere," Thomas said in a statement released by the team. "An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed, and I had nowhere to go. I landed on my shoulder and my face, and there was quite a bit of blood. You've always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out of the race."
Thomas was in eighth place overall before the crash and was using the race as preparation for the upcoming Tour de France, where he will start as the defending champion. Team Ineos were initially headed to the Tour de France with co-leaders in Thomas and Chris Froome. Froome was forced to abandon the Criterium du Dauphine after a horrific crash that left him recovering from a fractures to his right femur, elbow, ribs, sternum and C7 neck vertebra. Froome will not be racing the Tour de France.
Team Ineos said Thomas' involvement in the Tour de France isn’t likely to be affected by his crash at the Tour de Suisse, adding that he is already looking forward to being on the start line in Brussels on July 6.
"Clearly it's frustrating and a small setback for my Tour de France preparations," Thomas said, "but there's still plenty of time before we start in Brussels in a few weeks' time. We will recalibrate, and I'm sure my coach Tim [Kerrison] will have a plan in place to ensure I'm ready for July 6th."