Stage one of the 2021 Tour was blighted by two huge crashes inside the final 50km, with Ineos Grenadiers riders Porte and Geoghegan Hart among those caught up in the chaos.
British WorldTour squad Ineos have four potential leaders in the race, with Thomas and Richard Carapaz the only two now left in contention after the punchy opening day.
Porte, third-place finisher in last year’s Tour, finished 2-16 on stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), while 2020 Giro d’Italia winner Geoghegan Hart was 5-33 behind the leading group as he crossed the line.
Speaking after the finish Thomas, who is hoping to repeat his 2018 Tour victory, said: “It was a solid day, stressful. We had a few crashes and obviously that big crash at the end.
“I had no idea who was in it. It ended up Richie being in it which wasn’t great, but I was just concentrating on staying on the bike.
“Gutted for Richie and Tao both crashing or being held up.”
While Porte and Geoghegan Hart were among the selection of general classification leaders to lose time on day one, along with the likes of Miguel Ángel López, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Steven Kruisjwijk (Jumbo-Visma), Thomas was amongst the strongest on the uphill finish into Landerneau.
The Welshman finished 10th on the stage, eight seconds behind Alaphilippe.
Thomas said: “I was too far back on that last climb. At the time I thought I was okay, I thought I’d slowly move up and then I was expecting it to lull after the steeper bit and move up.
“But it never lulled. Alaphilippe went so hard for so long, it was full gas all the way up, which made my life a bit harder.
“But for me personally it’s not bad. I never feel 100 per cent the first day after a few easy days, so I’m happy to get through.”
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