Geraint Thomas (Sky) will undergo surgery on his broken collarbone this week but has no firm plans for the remainder of his season after he was forced to abandon the Tour de France through injury on stage 9.
Thomas fell on the descent of the Col de la Biche with a shade over 100 kilometres remaining on the stage, and although he remounted, he quickly realised that his race had come to a premature halt.
The Welshman, who won the opening time trial in Düsseldorf a week ago and spent four days in the yellow jersey, was lying second overall, just 12 seconds down on his teammate Chris Froome. It was the second time Thomas was forced out of a Grand Tour through injury this season, after a crash at the base of the Blockhaus brought an end to his general classification challenge at the Giro d'Italia.
"It still hasn't really sunk in. I'm sure it will be like the Giro and when I get home is when it really hits home, so to speak,” Thomas said. “The show goes on pretty quickly. So I think it will hit me tomorrow and in a few days' time."
Thomas was speaking in a short audio file distributed by his Sky team on Monday morning. Despite holding the yellow jersey, the team opted not to hold a rest day press conference.
Thomas' 2017 campaign was built around a tilt at a high overall finish at the Giro, before turning his attention to supporting Froome in July. At this early juncture, he had few firm thoughts on his race schedule in the final months of the campaign.
"I'm going to see a specialist on Tuesday and get it operated on this week. I'll have a week off and then I should be back on the turbo trainer," Thomas said. "I'm in no massive rush to get back anyway. We'll decide what the programme will be in a week or so's time once the dust has settled.”
Thomas’ victory in Dusseldorf was his first-ever stage win at a Grand Tour, but the memory of his early stint in yellow has, for the time being at least, been obliterated by the unfortunate ending to his Tour.
"At the moment it's more just the devastation of leaving the Tour – but obviously you've got to remember and savour the good times because they are rare in this sport. For sure in a week or so or once the Tour is over I'll look back on those good bits," Thomas said. "But for the moment it's still pretty raw."
The Tour resumes on Tuesday with Thomas' teammate Froome still atop the general classification, 18 seconds ahead of Fabio Aru (Astana) and 51 up on Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
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