Just a small setback, says Geraint Thomas
Tour de France defending champion Geraint Thomas plays down his crash in build-up event, determined to win crown again within weeks
Lausanne: Geraint Thomas crashed heavily on Tuesday in a second major scare for his Team Ineos after Chris Froome suffered serious injury ruling him out of the Tour de France last week. The reigning Tour de France champion Thomas was rushed to hospital for tests after his fall in the Tour de Suisse.
Dazed and grazed
The accident happened 30km from home on stage four with the Welshman in a good position for overall victory in the nine-day Tour warm up in the Alps, but was left ashen-faced, dazed, badly grazed and nursing his right shoulder.
Ineos said on Twitter that Thomas "has been forced to abandon the #TourDeSuisse. He was alert and speaking to the team after the crash and will be taken to hospital for checks".
Ineos later reported that Thomas's "involvement in the Tour de France isn't likely to be affected by today's crash and he is already looking forward to being on the start line in Brussels on July 6th".
He was treated for "abrasions to his shoulder and a cut above his right eye". Thomas in a statement said: "Clearly it's frustrating and a small setback for my Tour de France preparations, but there's still plenty of time before we start in Brussels in a few weeks' time."
Recalling the accident he added: "There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere. "An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed and I had nowhere to go. I landed on my shoulder and my face and there was quite a bit of blood. You've always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out of the race."
'Unsafe to race'
Ineos team doctor Derick Macleod reported that Thomas had passed his initial concussion roadside test "but with the nature and severity of the impact, it was felt unsafe for him to continue in the race". "He was taken to hospital and thankfully all the X-rays and scans have come back clear. He's now back in the Team hotel and in good spirits," Macleod added.
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