Geraint Thomas (Great Britain) has explained that he has no serious injuries after crashing during the men's Olympic Games road race in Tokyo on Saturday, but was nevertheless left to ponder his misfortune.
The former Tour de France winner hit the deck with just over 150 kilometres to go in a fall that several other riders came down in, too, including his own teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The pair remounted and made it back to the peloton but, on a day that saw their trade teammate Richard Carapaz pull off a remarkable win to take the gold medal, the British camp were left to hold on for ninth place courtesy of Adam Yates.
Thomas initially took to social media to post a message about his crash, which was his second major fall in the last few weeks after he dislocated his shoulder on stage 3 of the Tour de France.
"All good with me. Thanks for the messages!! Think I must have done something bad in a previous life," he wrote.
Speaking to the BBC later on, he explained what had happened.
"Basically there was just a little metal ridge in middle of the road, and Tao hit that and his front wheel went. I was on his wheel, his bike was just there, and I had nowhere to go.
"I hit the floor myself, landed on my right side - the same shoulder I did in the Tour. Luckily it stayed in - that's one positive. I'm just beat up and I hit my ankle awkwardly so that was giving me a bit of jib. I've been worse, but I've been lot better as well.
"I was just thinking 'not again - why'. I Tweeted that maybe I've done something bad in a past life, I don't know. This month just isn't my month. It's just frustrating because I've put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice this year, but sometimes there's not a lot you can do about it."
Both Thomas and Geohegan Hart failed to finish the road race, with just 85 riders completing the 234 kilometre course. Thomas will now turn his attention to Wednesday's time trial, where he has to hope his fortunes will turn.
"Today I didn't really get a feel for it but I'm just going to go all-in, give it my best, and see what happens," he said.
"I've been up and down [since the crash at the Tour]. I've had days where I've felt good and days where I've felt shocking. I feel I recovered well from the Tour so hopefully I feel good on Wednesday.
"I'll just rest up now and try and forget about cycling, at least for this evening."
Former teammate Bradley Wiggins, who now commentates for Eurosport, lamented Thomas’ luck at the finish of the race.
"Maybe he is going blind. Poor lad – I don’t know," said Wiggins. "I was actually speaking to him at the airport on Monday about it. It’s such a shame because you want him to do so well. He’s been in such good form this year and he’s shone at the Tour de Romandie, he was there at the Dauphiné, and misfortune has just come his way since then."
Thomas was also in contention for a medal at the Rio Olympic Games five years ago but the Welshman crashed out of the front group on that occasion too. He and Geoghegan Hart still have the men’s individual time to come next week in Tokyo before travelling back to Europe.
“It’s a real shame because he missed out five years ago in Rio because he crashed when he was heading for a medal there," said Wiggins. "It’s tragic really but we hear he’s OK. At this stage it’s all looking good for the time trial."
"He got a standing ovation from the grand stand here, which was nice to see. Everyone's very appreciative of everyone’s efforts today."
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.