Geraint Thomas has said a lack of feeling in his hands caused his crash on stage four of the Tour de Romandie.
Having distanced the rest of the field alongside Canadian Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), the two riders began to contest the uphill sprint finish for the stage win, and even if beaten Thomas would have assumed the race lead if he'd crossed the finish line alongside Woods.
Disaster struck, however, with Thomas hitting the deck as he began to sprint for the line, gingerly getting back to his feet before eventually taking third place, overtaken by Ben O'Connor (Ag2r Citroën), coming across the line 21 seconds behind Woods.
"I had no feeling in my hands due to the cold and tried to shift gears, but lost control of my handlebars," Thomas told CyclingPro after the stage. Miserable conditions had plagued the peloton all day, the stage having even been moved forward two hours to avoid forecasted snow.
Thomas had started the day 14 seconds in arrears to Marc Soler, but when the Movistar rider started going backwards on the final climb to the summit finish, the race lead looked to be falling into the hands of the Welshman.
Instead, he remains second, 11 seconds behind Woods, but has a good chance of overtaking him in the final 16km-long time trial stage tomorrow.
"I'm fine but I am emotional," Thomas continued. "It is very frustrating to lose time this way after such a hard day. Luckily I still have something to drive for tomorrow, but today I really wanted to win. Then it is unfortunate that this happens."
Had Thomas won the stage, it would have been his first victory since his win on Alpe d'Huez at the 2018 Tour de France.
"I don't know yet what the difference is with Woods, but I'm going to try to make up for the difference. Now I'm going to take a shower first and get fed. Then there is time to look at tomorrow."
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