Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) has confirmed on Twitter that he was left needing stitches above his right eye after a crash took him out of the Tour de Suisse on stage 4. The defending Tour de France champion crashed with just under 30km to go on the stage and was soon on his way to the hospital for checks after his head took the brunt of the fall. He passed the immediate roadside checks for a concussion, but doctors decided to remove the British rider from the race.
Hospital checks later revealed that Thomas came out of the fall without any fractures, but he will spend several days off the bike as he recovers from the head injury and loss of skin on his back and right side.
Thomas' early exit means that he misses the final and arguably most important stages of the Tour de Suisse, with the final block of stages set in the mountains. Thomas was looking to use the Tour de Suisse as his final stage race before his Tour de France defense, and he confirmed on Tuesday evening that he and coach Tim Kerrison would need to alter the rider's training programme ahead of next month's Grand Depart in Brussels.
In a Tweet posted Wednesday morning, Thomas stated, "Thanks for all your messages!! Gutted to leave @tds but luckily I'm all ok. I hit my head and needed stitches above my eye, so the doctors stopped me getting back on my bike. It just means I'll need some big training rides next week now."
With Thomas out of the Tour de Suisse, the Team Ineos leadership lies solely with Egan Bernal. The Paris-Nice winner missed the Giro d'Italia in May after breaking his collarbone on the eve of the event. Team Ineos leadership at the Tour de France will be decided between Thomas and Bernal after last week's horrific crash for Chris Froome at the Critérium du Dauphiné ruled the British rider out for the rest of the season.
Froome suffered a number of fractures in the fall and remains in hospital after several days in intensive care and an eight-hour operation to repair compound fractures to his right elbow and right femur.
Thanks for all your messages!! Gutted to leave @tds but luckily I’m all ok. I hit my head and needed stitches above my eye, so the doctors stopped me getting back on my bike. It just means I’ll need some big training rides next week now