Geraint Thomas has described his frustration after being forced out of the Giro d'Italia due to fracturing his pelvis in a freak crash at the start of Stage 3 of the race in Enna yesterday. Thomas, the pre-race favourite, remounted and made it the 150km to the finish but lost 12 minutes to his rivals and did not start today's stage.
Confirming Geraint Thomas's withdrawal this morning, Ineos Grenadiers Doctor Phil Riley said: “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it's an injury that could easily be aggravated.”
Thomas said: “It’s so frustrating. I’d put so much work in to this race. I did everything I could and feel like I was in just as good, if not better shape, than when I won the Tour. I was feeling really good. So for it just to end like this is gutting.
“I was really up for starting today. I woke up and wanted to start with the boys and at least help them go for stages over the next few days, but deep down I knew something wasn’t right, so we went to get these extra scans. It does make the decision easier when there’s a fracture in some ways, because obviously I don’t want to do anymore damage.”
Depending on how quickly Thomas - who rode almost the entire 2013 Tour de France in support of Chris Froome despite breaking his pelvis on the opening stage in Corsica - recovers, he could feature in the Ineos Grenadiers line-up for the Vuelta.
There is a few days' overlap between the Giro and the Spanish Grand Tour, and while riders are not usually permitted to ride in a race taking place at the same time as one they began, exceptions have been made in the past where a rider has left a Grand Tour early due to a crash,
Here's our original sgtory from yesterday evening:
Ineos Grenadiers have said that they initial x-rays suggest that Geraint Thomas did not sustain any fractures in his crash at the Giro d’Italia today, but will monitor his condition overnight and review the situation before the start of tomorrow’s Stage 4.
The 34 year old crashed in Enna during the neutralised start of the stage when a water bottle that had been dislodged from another rider’s bike got stuck in his front wheel.
The incident, which happened on a downhill stretch through the town meaning the peloton was perhaps travelling faster than usual during the neutralised section, was filmed by spectators at the roadside.
— Salvatore Bertuccio (@salxber) October 5, 2020
Footage from one angle showed several water bottles bouncing along the road, presumably knocked out of their cages by the cobbles or sunken manhole covers immediately before the location where the crash happened.
— Salvatore Bertuccio (@salxber) October 5, 2020
Thomas, who lost contact with the main group with 10km still to go to the final climb of Mount Etna, finished the stage more than 12 minutes after Jonathan Caicedo of EF Pro Cycling had taken the victory.
He lost over 11 minutes to several rivals for the overall, effectively ending his hopes of adding a second Grand Tour victory to his 2018 Tour de France title.
In an update on his condition this evening, team doctor Phil Riley said: "Geraint crashed on his left side, so he took a significant blow to the back of his left hip and he has some abrasions on his left arm and leg. After the stage he was taken for x-rays at the finish.
“The initial x-rays didn’t show anything broken, but we are awaiting confirmation in the morning. We will treat him tonight, continue to monitor him and then review it in the morning again.”
Ineos Grenadiers sports director Matteo Tosatto said: “Around one or two kilometres into the neutralised start G got a bidon caught under his front wheel and crashed.
“Initially he had some pain but as the stage continued he felt better. However towards the end in the final 45 kilometres the pace increased and the climbs got steeper – he had some pain and had to finish the stage at his own pace.”
He added: “It’s still a long Giro. We have Filippo [Ganna] and Rohan Dennis with some good chances in the time trials and we also have Castro [Jonathan Castroviejo] and Tao [Geoghegan Hart] riding well.
“We’ll take stock tonight and look at our approach for the rest of the race.”
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.