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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Britain's Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
Welsh rider to focus on Tour de France
In between the success he has had during the cobbled classics - and there certainly has been some - Thomas has repeatedly found himself on the deck.
"I was moving up on the right and there was curb and someone in the bunch swerved right to go for a leak and I just had nowhere to go," Thomas told Cyclingnews as he waited for his teammates at the finish line in Valkenburg.
"That rider took me out and I had a sore arse, back and hip. I felt like I couldn't get much out, so it's not ideal and it's frustrating because I've had a few crashes now and to be honest most of them have been down to pure bad luck."
"That's easy to say but I was taking a drink in Flanders and someone slammed on the brakes, I hit the curb and flew over the bars. Maybe I could have waited until we were out of the town before I took a drink. I don't know."
There was certainly bad luck and unforeseen circumstances in Gent-Wevelgem when a tangle in the bunch caused André Greipel to crash out and Thomas to topple over too.
"It wasn't really a crash but there have been a few of those things and then everyone starts talking about it and it starts to get at you a bit."
With the Classics now over, Thomas has had time, albeit only a few hours at this stage, to assess the situation and his recent run of falls. The Classics always carry more than their fair of accidents, with the terrain, small roads, fighting for position, weather and fatigue all factoring in. Rarely, at this high level, are bike skills criticised though and Thomas has taken a step back in order to assess the situation.
"I can see that if you look at four crashes then people are going to think 'what's he doing?'. But when you break them down and look at what's happened you think maybe one could have been prevented, but not a lot could have been done, and especially today. I just got taken out."
Perhaps Amstel was a race too far. From the top ten in Roubaix only three riders lined up in Maastricht for today's start: a testament to the turnover in peloton, and participants who have already shipped off for well earned breaks.
"It was mentally quite hard coming here. I wanted to race, I said at the start of the year that I wanted to be here because I've come out here and watched the race twice as a kid, but I feel like over those three weeks in Belgium I've slowly started to put a bit of weight on and felt a bit weird coming here. There are guys like Gerrans and Gilbert coming in and they're all ready and it just felt like I was a bit overdone. I still wanted to give it a good crack and help Swift and Boasson Hagen."
It was a difficult day for Sky throughout, with Boasson Hagen, another survivor from the cobbles, claiming their highest place in 39th position. Thomas will now take a short break and gather himself before attention turns towards the Tour de France.
"Now I go to Bayern and to Tenerife around the 11th. I've got a nice break and some time to switch off from people telling me to move up because there's a dangerous section coming up and this and that," he said with a wry smile.
"It's good to switch off now for a couple of weeks, get that hunger back for the build up for the Tour de France."