Geraint Thomas had a nightmare experience in the Commonwealth Games time trial, crashing within the first two minutes of his ride and then later complaining of further problems later on.
Thomas returned to the UK after his Tour de France podium looking to wring out the last drops of his Grand Tour form in the red of the Welsh national team.
He was the joint favourite for the 37.4km time trial in Wolverhampton alongside Australian Rohan Dennis but his hopes of gold effectively evaporated when he crashed on the second bend. In the end he had to settle for bronze.
After negotiating his way out of West Park, Thomas took too much speed into the second left-hand bend, where only half the road was available. He squeezed the brakes, his back wheels started to slide, and he looked to have kept balance only to clip the foot of one of the barriers, which sent him tumbling.
Thomas shouted out as he landed in a heap before getting to his feet and fumbling with a chain that appeared to be jammed. He was on his way soon enough but had conceded around 30 seconds.
"It was the same for everyone but I hadn't ridden the course with closed roads, properly, and I just went into too hot, basically," Thomas told the BBC after the podium ceremony.
"I thought it was sweeping left, which to me is no brakes. I just clipped the barrier leg on the exit, then struggled to get the chain on, then the brake was a bit bent and so on. It is what it is, my fault, one of those things.
Thomas was clearly riding strongly as he reached the first intermediate checkpoint at kilometre-8.9 in second place, but he was already 30 seconds behind Dennis - approximately the amount of time he lost in the crash.
Thomas continued strongly but as he made his way through Dudley towards the half-way mark he raised his arm in the air and called for his team car. He then started talking into his race radio, taking his hands from the aero bars in order to hit the microphone on his device and communicate with his team.
"It was more about trying to get a bit more info on the corners," he explained. "The recon was pretty pointless because with barriers up it's totally different."
Thomas reached the second checkpoint after 19.2km in a similar position, 32 seconds down on Dennis and losing just over a second in the intervening 10km. At the third checkpoint, after 32.8km, he was holding firm on the same time and still in second place.
Dennis started to fade slightly on the latter part of the course and Thomas made up a few seconds to finish 28 seconds down. However, Fred Wright had ridden a strong run-in earlier in the day and effectively overturned a three-second deficit to Thomas at the third checkpoint to claim silver and push Thomas into bronze.
"I just had to try and re-focus and get stuck into the ride. The legs were pretty good, to be honest," he said.
"There was probably a bit of adrenaline after the crash and I went too hard to start with. But to come away with a medal is ok in the end."
A nightmare start for Geraint Thomas in the time trial! ⏱😬#BBCCWG pic.twitter.com/HB06wmk9t6August 4, 2022
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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.