Geraint Thomas has been given the all clear by doctors following a crash which forced him to quit the Tour de Suisse on stage four.
The 33-year-old was brought down in an incident with Andrey Zeits (Astana) with around 30km to go, sustaining abrasions and a cut to his forehead.
Thomas was taken to hospital after doctors pulled him from the race, despite him wanting to continue, with the team later confirming he suffered abrasions and a cut above the right eye.
Speaking about the crash, Thomas said: “There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere. An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed and I had nowhere to go. I landed on my shoulder and my face and there was quite a bit of blood. You’ve always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out of the race.”
The team said Thomas’s involvement in the Tour shouldn’t be in danger, with Thomas describing it as a “small setback” in his preparations.
“Clearly it’s frustrating and a small setback for my Tour de France preparations, but there’s still plenty of time before we start in Brussels in a few weeks’ time,” Thomas said.
“We will recalibrate and I’m sure my coach Tim (Kerrison) will have a plan in place to ensure I’m ready for July 6.”
Team Ineos doctor Derick Macleod said it was necessary for staff to take Thomas out of the race due to the level of impact on his head from the crash. He added that they will monitor Thomas as he begins to return to training in the coming days.
“Geraint took a heavy fall. The main area of impact was to his head,” Dr. Macleod said.
“He passed his initial concussion roadside test but with the nature and severity of the impact, it was felt unsafe for him to continue in the race. He was taken to hospital and thankfully all the X-rays and scans have come back clear. He’s now back in the Team hotel and in good spirits.
“He’s been given the all clear which is great but we will continue to monitor him over the next few days. Knowing Geraint, it won’t take him long to get back on his bike but we’ll need to ensure he’s symptom free in the next few days before he does so.
“We’re optimistic he’ll make a full recovery over the coming days though and all being well he’ll be back on his bike very soon.”