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Race leader Geraint Thomas (Sky)
Sky hope to go on the attack on final stage
Thomas was forced to abandon after coming down with a handful of riders on the final descent of the day. He took to twitter after the stage, “All is ok thanks guys. Just gutted, good all race then boom... Nothing.”
The Welshman was comfortably in the main group of favourites, but took a tumble on one of the many corners that characterised the day’s racing. While the other riders involved in the incident were quick to get back up Thomas remained on the ground for some time. He managed to finish the stage some seven minutes behind the winner Tom-Jelte Slagter, with several visible cuts and large tears to his kit.
Sky later confirmed that he wouldn’t take part in the final stage to Nice. Team doctor Richard Usher says that Thomas’ injuries were not as bad as they had initially appeared. “Thankfully nothing appears to be broken,” he told teamsky.com. “Geraint’s got multiple bruises and abrasions but we’ve cleaned him up and he won’t need a trip to the hospital. He’s travelled back to the hotel with us this evening and we’ll monitor his situation closely overnight.”
Up to the accident Thomas had been having a very good Paris-Nice. He was quickly promoted to team leader when Sky chose to send Richie Porte to Tirreno-Adriatico. Thomas spent two days in the yellow jersey and was sitting in second place, eight seconds behind Carlos Betancur, and the team had hoped they could end the week in a high placing. With no man in contention for the general classification, the other Sky riders could get free rein to attack.
“We’d been able to put G in a good position and were able to cover any moves which put him under pressure,” said directeur sportif Nicolas Portal. “It’s such a shame G fell because the team have worked brilliantly all week and he was in great condition. That’s bike racing though so we have to look forwards now.
Tomorrow we might try to put someone in the break, and we also have other guys here that could go for a stage victory. It’s going to be another hard day on Sunday and a lot of riders will drop off the pace before the finish. We’ll aim to be right there though, because it would be nice to end this race on a high.”