Ineos Grenadiers co-leader Geraint Thomas will be hoping for a much gentler and less stressful day in the saddle at the Tour de France on Tuesday after the 2018 winner suffered a dislocated shoulder on stage 3.
The Welshman hit the deck inside the opening 40 kilometres, crashing hard on his right side. The fall took out Jumbo-Visma rider Robert Gesink with a broken collarbone and it looked as though Thomas would follow the Dutchman out of the race as he sat on the road in visible discomfort.
The race doctor was quickly on the scene and, luckily for Thomas, he had only dislocated his shoulder rather than broken any bones. He received onsite medical attention and, after a long chase with his teammates, was able to regain contact with the rest of the field.
On Tuesday, just before the start of stage 4 from Redon to Fougeres, Thomas gave the media a short update on his condition.
"The shoulder is a bit sore but hopefully once I get going it will loosen up a bit. The shoulder for sure is just going to be painful for a few days but I’ll get on with it," he said.
"It came out yesterday and luckily the race doctor put it back in when I was on the floor. Then it was just instant relief. It felt so much better then. I got back on the bike and managed to finish the stage."
Although stage 4 looks like a nailed-on day for the sprinters the Tour de France GC battle comes back into view on Wednesday’s stage 5 with a 27.2km time trial between Change and Laval Espace Mayenne.
Thomas was held up by another late crash on stage 3 and conceded 12 seconds to his teammate and co-leader Richard Carapaz, as well as Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep). However, he finished on the same time as 2020 winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), while the other pre-race favourite Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lost around a minute.
Thomas currently sits 18th overall, 1:07 off Mathieu van der Poel’s yellow jersey.
"I’ll just take it day by day and then we’ll see," he said. "We’ll deal with the rest after."
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