Geraint Thomas has fallen many times before in his career, but Team Sky says that it will take a while for him to overcome his crash at the Tour de France on Saturday which forced him out of the race.
Chris Froome‘s helper and the team’s plan B fell on the wet descent of the Grand Colombier and fractured his right collarbone.
The incident comes on the heels of Thomas’s Giro d’Italia disappointment. The 31-year-old began the race as leader but a fall due to a parked police motorbike forced him to quit.
“It’s just so disappointing for him,” team boss David Brailsford told Cycling Weekly. “He’s going from the disappointment of crashing out in the Giro to the high of winning the first stage in the Tour, yellow jersey for a number of days and then the disappointment of this again.
Watch: Tour de France 2017 stage nine highlights
“It’s a roller coaster for sure. I’d like just to say he’ll dust down and get going again, but it’s hard, it’s generally hard. It’ll take quite a lot for him now to get over this and get his head around it all.”
Thomas this evening wrote a message of thanks in Twitter for the support along with an X-ray photograph of his fracture. He also joked that he was putting his tattered jersey up for sale.
“We’ll be there to support him and do everything we can,” Brailsford added. “There’s no taking away from the fact he’ll be bitterly disappointed, that’s for sure.”
Thomas sat second overall at 12 seconds behind Froome at the start of the day. He said he fell when Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) crashed in front of him.
The silver lining to the dark clouds that sat above Chambéry this afternoon is Thomas won the opening time trial in Düsseldorf and experienced the responsibility of wearing the yellow jersey for four days.
“Despite the negatives, there’s been some very big highs as well and think it was a majestic performance in the prologue,” said Brailsford. “For him to wear the yellow jersey like he did has given him a real appetite for it. So every cloud has its lining.”
Brailsford warned of reading too much into Thomas’s string of bad luck and crashes, pointing out that many had been to due with others falling in front of Thomas.
In the Giro, he and Brailsford carefully planned his next step in the Tour before he left. Today, they had little time to speak before he flew home.
Thomas had laughed off the idea of racing the Vuelta a España before the start of the Tour de France. Brailsford added, “It’s way too early to talk about what’s next”.