REGGIO EMILIA, Italy (AFP) — Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas has pulled out of the Giro d’Italia due to injuries he suffered in a crash last weekend, his Sky team announced Friday.
Thomas started the 100th edition of the race as co-leader along with Spain’s Mikel Landa, hoping to challenge for the race leader’s pink jersey.
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But a crash on the climb to Blockhaus, caused by a rider colliding with a police motorcycle at the side of the road on last Sunday’s ninth stage, saw the Welshman lose more than five minutes to his rivals and left him with injuries which have hampered his campaign since.
“I’ve been suffering since my crash on Sunday,” said Thomas, who had to have his dislocated shoulder popped back in by the race doctor before continuing and finishing the stage. “I’ve had an issue with my shoulder which is manageable, but my knee has also been getting worse each day.
“Obviously, it’s never nice to leave a race early, especially when it’s your main goal of the season, but I have to look at the bigger picture.”
Thomas will now focus on preparing for July’s Tour de France, where he will help Chris Froome try to win a fourth yellow jersey.
“I’ll turn my attention to the Tour de France now, and I want to arrive there with the same good form I started the Giro with.”
Sky chief Dave Brailsford said: “It’s desperately sad for Geraint. He has worked hard to arrive here in such great condition and we were looking forward to seeing him compete.
“As always, he has shown true fighting spirit and demonstrated what a competitor he is, but the impacts of a crash like that take their toll.”