Geraint Thomas has talked about the disappointment of crashing out of contention in both the Tour de France and the Tokyo Olympic Games road but vowed to give it ‘one more push’ for the time trial on Wednesday.
Thomas crashed out of the men’s road race at the weekend after his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart hit the deck leaving the Welshman with no where to go. The former Tour winner hit the deck on stage 3 of this year’s race and dislocated his shoulder and although he was able to carry on in the race he was never a feature in the GC battle and limped into Paris as a domestique for teammate Richard Carapaz.
The Welshman’s season had promised so much with a win in the Tour de Romandie and a stage and a podium place in the Criterium du Dauphine but crashes have had huge effects on his biggest goals of the year.
"We were just going down a fast bit of road, there was a little bit of metal in the middle and Tao [Geoghegan Hart] hit that and lost his front wheel and I was directly behind him,” Thomas said of his fall in Saturday’s men race that led to him abandoning.
"I could have tried to land on top of him – it would have cushioned my blow. But yeah, we were both on the deck and really unfortunate – just a freak accident,” he told Eurosport.
"I knew I wasn’t bad, like broken something, but when you hit the floor at that sort of speed it’s never nice. I knocked myself about a bit, just a normal crash but it’s just disappointing. After the Tour and everything, looking to come here, change of scene and with the GB team I was really motivated to try and get something out of it."
Thomas pointed to his other results, which also included third overall in the Volta a Catalunya, as to why his 2021 campaign had not been a disaster.
"It's not that I’ve had a bad season. I've won two races, I’ve been up there on the podium a few other times as well as that. But the main two targets is what you dream about and they’re the ones where I’ve ended up on the floor so it is tough but it is part of the sport. Like life in general, you don’t always get what you deserve. You just need to keep trying."
Thomas and Geohegan will race the men’s individual time trial on Wednesday. Assuming Thomas has recovered from his fall in the road race he should be in a position to contend for a medal. The tough course suits him but he will be going up against the likes of Filippo Ganna (Italy), Rohan Dennis (Australia) and the Belgian pair of Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel.
“This year has] been tough mentally but I’ve still got one more chance on Wednesday with the TT [time trial] so I’ll just rest up now and hopefully get something out of that," said Thomas. "One more push, at least stay on the bike."
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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.