Thomas crashed hard on stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia, hitting the deck in the neutralized zone when a stray bidon went under his wheels. Although the race had yet to officially start the peloton were moving at speed through a downhill section and Thomas, on the right-hand side of the road lost his balance before hitting his left side on the pavement and curb. He got to his feet, and raced on, but even before the final climb to Mount Etna, he began to lose ground.
Thomas was paced to the summit by several of his teammates, including overnight race leader Filippo Ganna and Rohan Dennis but by the time the Welshman crossed the line he was 12:19 down on stage winner Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling) and his Giro d'Italia dreams lay in tatters. After the stage, Thomas was taken to hospital for x-rays and Ineos' medical team confirmed that no fractures have initially been found.
"Geraint crashed on his left side, so he took a significant blow to the back of his left hip and he has some abrasions on his left arm and leg. After the stage he was taken for x-rays at the finish," Dr. Phil Riley said in a statement released by the team on Monday evening.
"The initial x-rays didn't show anything broken, but we are awaiting confirmation in the morning. We will treat him tonight, continue to monitor him and then review it in the morning again."
Thomas' GC hopes are now over but Ineos and their leader may hope that if the injuries are just superficial then he can use the next few days to recover before targeting stage wins. If he cannot continue in the race then the Welshman may be forced to end his season early and begin to build for 2021. Leaving the race could provide him with time to recover and potentially race the Vuelta a España but that would mean another shift in Ineos' Grand Tour strategy.
Thomas is no stranger to bad luck in the Giro d'Italia. In 2017, when leading Team Sky he crashed into a badly parked moto and was forced to leave the race a few days later.
The Welshman had originally been listed to race the Tour de France but a dip in form saw him moved to the Giro d'Italia roster and he came into the race in flying form after finishing second in Tirreno-Adriatico and taking fourth in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Imola. He finished fourth again in the opening time trial on stage 1 of the Giro and sat third overall coming into Monday's stage 3. He now sits 53rd overall, 11:17 down on the maglia rosa.
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