Defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) survived a late scare on stage of the 2019 race after coming down in a late crash. The Welshman avoided the centre of the fall that took down pre-stage favourite Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) but had no choice but to go into the barriers.
Thomas was quickly back on his bike and finished the stage. Although he didn't come home in the group that contained stage winner Mike Teunissen, the fall took place inside the final 3km, meaning Thomas was awarded the same time as the winner and the first yellow jersey of this year's race.
"I'm fine. I was pretty slow by the time I hit them so just toppled over. It's all good. I gave myself enough space so avoided the actual crash. I was just at the barriers with nowhere to go, it's just one of those things," Thomas said at the finish in Brussels.
Team Ineos' second leader at the Tour, Egan Bernal, was slowed by the crash but finished safely on the stage. Thomas finished 111th on the stage, with Bernal in 81st.
Despite wining last year's race, Thomas has been awarded equally billing at Team Ineos within Team Ineos. He crashed out the Tour de Suisse, while his best pre-Tour result was third overall at the Tour de Romandie in April. Bernal, on the other hand, has won both Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse.