Michael Woods (EF Education First) plans to apologise to Geraint Thomas (Ineos) for causing him to crash in stage eight of the Tour de France 2019 to Saint-Étienne, with a photo taken after the start of stage nine showing the Canadian speaking to the Welshman.
Woods fell on a right-hand corner with 15km to race, Gianni Moscon then crashed into him and defending Tour champion Thomas ploughed into his Italian team-mate.
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“I feel responsible for sure, I crashed,” Woods told Cycling Weekly.
“That crash was my fault regardless of the circumstances, but unfortunately [Team Ineos] were right behind me.”
Luckily, Moscon’s bike came off the worst. Everyone only suffered scrapes and bruises and Thomas a 20-second time loss to classification rival Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ).
“I’m not happy that I compromised someone else’s race,” Woods said.
“Even Geraint Thomas has every right to be disappointed and angry at me, he has also done the same thing. You look back a couple of Tours ago and he made a mistake in a corner. It just happens. This is a high-risk sport, so many elements are at play and unfortunately those elements contributed against my rear wheel yesterday.
“My plan? To head over there and say ‘sorry’ but it’s up to them if they wan to accept it but if were to happen to me, I’d be upset for a bit but then realise that it happens.”
Woods planned on apologising to Thomas at the start of stage nine. The Canadian, stage winner in Vuelta a España, had road rash and some bandages on his body this morning.
“My rear wheel slid out, just some bad luck, I didn’t have enough weight on the outside pedal. 99 per cent of the time I’m making that corner but I think i just hit a little greasy patch or the tyre may have popped up a touch, then all of a sudden it slid out from me. I was really surprised that it did,” Woods added.
“But that was my mistake in the end. I’m not really disappointed in the fact that I’m no longer in the GC hunt. Our original intention and goal was to stage hunt and support Rigoberto Urán, so we are back to those goals.”
Thomas did not blame Woods, saying this morning that “there was nothing he could do.”