Geraint Thomas’ run at the Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa took a major hit on Monday.
The Welshman crashed during the neutral zone on stage 3, and while he was able to rejoin the peloton, Thomas appeared to be hampered by the crash.
The crash occurred at the very onset of the 150-kilometer stage from Enna to Mt. Etna, and the impact of the crash appeared to slow Thomas in the waning kilometers of the race. Video online showed Thomas striking a loose water bottle in the road and then crashing onto this left side. After the stage, Ineos-Grenadiers’ director Matteo Tosatto confirmed that Thomas struck a bottle before hitting the tarmac.
“Around one or two kilometers into the neutralized start [Thomas] got a bidon caught in his front wheel and crashed,” Tosatto said. “Initially he had some pain but as the stage continued he felt better. However towards the end in the final 45 kilometers the pace increased and the climbs got steeper – he had some pain and had to finish the stage at his own pace.”
Indeed, Thomas was repeatedly dropped by the peloton on the approach to Mt. Etna, and finally lost contact with 18km to go, before the start of the final climb. Trek-Segafredo punched out a quick pace on the front of the group when Thomas was dropped, however the pace did not appear to put any other GC favorites in trouble.
Thomas finished the day 12:19 down on stage winner Jonathan Caicedo of EF Pro Cycling. He now sits in 53rd place overall.
After the stage Thomas was treated by Ineos Grenadiers’ medical staff. Initial x-rays did not show any broken bones, said team doctor Phil Riley.
“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,” Riley said. “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.”
TV cameras caught sight of Thomas’s left side, which was covered in scrapes, cuts, and bruises on his shoulders and hip. He was paced by Ineos Grenadiers teammates Filippo Ganna and Rohan Dennis, and seemed to wince as he pushed onward toward the base of the climb.
Thomas came into the 2020 Giro as one of the top favorites to win, as the time trial-heavy course suits his strengths. The 2018 Tour de France winner missed a start in this year’s Tour in order to lead Ineos Grenadiers at the Giro.
Tosatto said Thomas would undergo a check-up from the team’s medical staff to determine the extent of his injuries.
“It’s still a long Giro. We have Filippo and Rohan with some good chances in the time trials and we also have Castro and Tao riding well,” Tosatto said. “We’ll take stock tonight and look at our approach for the rest of the race.”
This is not the first time Thomas has suffered an early crash at the Giro. In 2017 he led then Team Sky’s GC hopes at the Italian race and crashed into a police motorcycle on the 9th stage.