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CHAMBÉRY, France (VN) — Geraint Thomas was sitting in a Sky team car, his shoulder wrapped in gauze, wondering if his 2017 season is cursed.
Thomas started Sunday’s epic stage second overall, but that changed in an instant. Coming off the Col de Biche, Thomas claimed he was taken down by Bora-Hansgrohe’s Rafa Majka.
“Majka just came down right in front of me, and there was nowhere to go,” Thomas told VeloNews. “I just don’t know what Majka was doing. He was at the inside of me a few times on the corners, just desperate to get around me. I let him pass, and literally 10 seconds later, he’s on the floor, taking me down, and [Matteo] Trentin as well.”
Thomas couldn’t believe his luck. After wearing the yellow jersey for the first five stages, Thomas started Sunday second overall at 12 seconds back. And just like at the Giro d’Italia, a crash took him out when he was riding on some of the best form of his career.
“It’s a massive disappointment,” Thomas said. “It was just like at the Giro. It was stage nine as well. I was sitting second overall as well. I don’t know what it is for this year, it’s just not happening. Shit happens, doesn’t it?”
[pullquote align=“left” attrib=”Geraint Thomas”]”It’s a massive disappointment … I don’t know what it is for this year, it’s just not happening. Shit happens, doesn’t it?”[/pullquote]
Like any pro, Thomas has crashed plenty during his career, but said it was the first time he’s ever broken his collarbone.
“I kept going on the rest of the descent and few kilometers on the flat,” Thomas said. “Normally, you can just get up and get going again. I knew something was bad, and the team doctor, and race doctor both said the same thing. I just had it confirmed right here that it’s broken.”
It’s a bitter disappointment for Thomas, who was hoping to help lead teammate Chris Froome to what everyone hopes is a fourth Tour de France title.
After Thomas was forced to abandon, he was able to watch a bit of the race action before he went to the Tour race doctor for a checkup.
“I really hope Richie is OK, I saw a bit of that crash,” Thomas said of his former Sky teammate, who also crashed out later in the stage. “It’s not nice watching guys go down like that. I really hope he’s OK.”