The June of misfortune for Team Ineos continues, as Geraint Thomas is out of the Tour de Suisse following a heavy crash on stage four... however Ineos have now released a statement that says Thomas escaped "relatively unscathed" and has been given the all-clear to line up at the Tour de France on 6th July.
Ineos initially provided updates via their Twitter feed. At 3:51pm they said Thomas was "alert and speaking to the team" after his crash and was on his way to hospital for checks.
Thomas collided with Andrey Zeits of Astana around 30km from the finish. Zeits also required medical attention following the collision.
As we head into the final 30km of stage four at #TourDeSuisse @GeraintThomas86 has gone down in a crash. Team and race medical personnel are with him now. The Welshman is sat up talking to the team. Further updates to follow pic.twitter.com/aKJf0wpIqd
— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) June 18, 2019
Footage and photos posted on social media shown Thomas looking dazed in the immediate aftermath as he looked to be explaining what happened to team staff who rushed to his aid, with a prominent cut above his right eye and various holes in the back of his jersey.
It could have been another serious blow for Ineos, after Chris Froome's horrendous crash during a time trial recce at the Criterium du Dauphiné last week left him with multiple fractures - however it looks like Thomas has been dealt a better hand, suffering just some abrasions on his shoulder and a cut above his right eye. Here's the statement from Team Ineos:
Thomas was taken straight to hospital having suffered abrasions on his shoulder and a cut above his right eye in the wake of the crash, but thankfully the 33 year old has not sustained any further injuries.
Speaking to TeamINEOS.com, the reigning Tour de France champion explained how the incident occurred, commenting: “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.”
Thomas’ 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, adding: “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. We will recalibrate and I’m sure my coach Tim (Kerrison) will have a plan in place to ensure I’m ready for July 6th.”
Team INEOS doctor Derick Macleod told TeamINEOS.com: “Geraint took a heavy fall. The main area of impact was to his head. He 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.”
He added: “He’s been given the all clear which is great but we will continue to monitor him over the next few days. Knowing Geraint, it won’t take him long to get back on his bike but we’ll need to ensure he’s symptom free in the next few days before he does so. We’re optimistic he’ll make a full recovery over the coming days though and all being well he’ll be back on his bike very soon.”
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.