Geraint Thomas did not suffer any broken bones in his crash on Giro d’Italia stage three, his Ineos Grenadiers team have said.
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The Welshman fell hard in the neutral zone after getting a stray bidon caught in his wheel. Fan video footage shows him attempting to keep upright after hitting the bidon before falling hard on his left side.
The peloton waited for Thomas to return before the stage began, but the crash had clearly affected him as he struggled in the final 40km, eventually finishing over 12 minutes down on the stage winner on the final climb of Mount Etna and seeing his chances of Giro victory fall away.
Thomas was taken for medical checks and x-rays on his injuries after the end of the stage, which confirmed he had escaped any broken bones in the crash, but his team said he would face further assessment ahead of stage four on Tuesday.
“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,” said Ineos team doctor Phil Riley.
“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.”
The unfortunate crash will come as a bitter blow to Ineos and Thomas. The 2018 Tour de France winner wasn’t chosen for this year’s French Grand Tour and instead refocused his efforts on targetting the Giro, which he entered as the hot favourite. He put in a stellar performance on the stage one time trial to put over a minute into all his rivals bar fellow Briton Simon Yates, but is now extremely unlikely to be able to recover the time to compete on GC despite 18 stages still remaining in this Giro.
Ineos face a second Grand Tour of the year in which their leader has failed to stay in contention for the win, after Egan Bernal cracked on stage 15 of the Tour and subsequently abandoned a day later. Chris Froome will lead the squad into the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a España, which overlaps with the end of the Giro starting on October 20.