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Team Sky rider limits losses after sliding off on a right-hand bend – team mate Kwiatkowski takes race lead

“Could have been a lot worse.” That’s the verdict of Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas after he crashed spectacularly on a right-hand corner during today’s 6.6-kilometre Prologue in Valence of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The Welsh star, who sustained cuts and bruises in the spectacular chute, recovered to finish the stage in 43rd position overall, 21 seconds behind the day’s fastest rider, his Team Sky colleague Michal Kwiatkowski.

Team Sky rider limits losses after sliding off on a right-hand bend – team mate Kwiatkowski takes race lead

Thomas’s crash apart, it was a good day for Team Sky, with Italian time trial champion Gianni Moscon  posting the third fastest time to get into the best young rider’s white jersey.

Kwiatkowski, who has not raced since Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April said: “After 40 days without racing of course it’s a bit of a surprise, but I know how hard I was training to be in good shape here in the Dauphine, as well as preparing for the Tour.

“You have to always be at the start thinking about the win, otherwise you are not able to perform well.

 “It's going to be difficult, the transition I have to make from spring and performing in the Classics, to getting ready for the Tour,” he continued.

“I was training for more than two weeks at our altitude training camp getting ready for the climbing. Let’s hope I can find my legs, if not here then for the Tour.”

 Speaking of Thomas’s crash, he said: “I know where it happened, it was a really fast bend. I know G can fight for the win in this race. Let’s hope he’s all right and there’s nothing serious.

 “Both Geraint and myself we came here to see how the shape is growing before the Tour. It’s an advantage to win the prologue but the hardest stages are at the end of the race – four mountain finishes, four really hard stages and a team time trial.

“For sure we are looking forward to racing hard, but at the moment I just want to enjoy this victory.

“I had my birthday yesterday and as well this is maybe the last time trial in the national champion’s jersey.

“Of course I will try to defend it at the national championship in a couple of weeks, but it’s always a nice feeling.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.