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Geraint Thomas was taken to a hospital for a checkup following a crash during Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, team Ineos said on its social media.
The reigning Tour de France champion went down with approximately 30 kilometers remaining in the stage, which was won by Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step). After the crash Thomas remained on the ground where he was attended to by Team Ineos staff and race medical staff.
Astana’s Andrey Zeits was also involved in the crash, and had to be removed from the road by a stretcher following the impact. Thomas did not appear to have as serious of injuries as the Astana rider.
Shortly after the crash, Ineos confirmed that Thomas had abandoned the race.
“Sadly, [Geraint Thomas] has been forced to abandon the Tour de Suisse,” Team Ineos tweeted after the crash. “He was alert and speaking to the team after the crash and will be taken to hospital for checks. Further updates to follow.”
The race broadcast showed cuts and scrapes to Thomas’s right shoulder and face following the crash. The 33-year-old was able to move his arms and shoulder as he sat on the ground awaiting transportation to the hospital.
Officials placed a bandage on Thomas’s face before he was taken to the hospital.
The team has not said whether Thomas’s crash will impact his participation in the Tour de France.
Thomas was sitting in 8th place in the general classification at the time of his crash. The Welshman was using the Swiss tour as his final preparation for the Tour de France. He was among the riders favored to challenge for the overall victory, alongside his teammate Egan Bernal, Spanish rider Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick Step), and Simon Spilak (Katusha).
The crash marks another setback for Thomas, who has endured a frustrating start to his 2019 campaign. He was 44th overall in the Volta Valenciana before dropping out of the Tirreno-Adriatico due to sickness. His scheduled altitude training camp in the Canary Islands in early April was then cancelled due to snow.
Thomas’s crash further compounds Team Ineos’s disastrous June campaign, which saw its four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome suffer fractures to his hip, femur, ribs, and elbow following a scary crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Ineos announced that Froome would not start the Tour de France due to his injuries. The move placed team leadership squarely on Thomas, who in 2018 took a convincing win at the Tour.
This story is developing. Please check back with www.velonews.com for news and updates.