Lausanne - Geraint
Thomas crashed heavily on Tuesday in a second major scare for his Team
Ineos after Chris Froome suffered serious injury ruling him out of the
Tour de France last week.
The reigning Tour de France champion Thomas was rushed to hospital for tests after his fall in the Tour de Suisse.
The accident happened 30km from home on stage four with the
33-year-old Welshman in a good position for overall victory in the
nine-day Tour warm up in the Alps, but was left ashen-faced, dazed,
badly grazed and nursing his right shoulder.
Ineos said on Twitter that Thomas "has been forced to abandon the
#TourDeSuisse. He was alert and speaking to the team after the crash and
will be taken to hospital for checks".
Ineos later reported that Thomas's "involvement in the Tour de France
isn’t likely to be affected by today’s crash and he is already looking
forward to being on the start line in Brussels on July 6th".
He was treated for "abrasions to his shoulder and a cut above his right eye".
Thomas in a statement said: "Clearly it’s frustrating and a small
setback for my Tour de France preparations, but there’s still plenty of
time before we start in Brussels in a few weeks' time."
Recalling the accident he added: "There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere.
"An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed and I had nowhere to go. I
landed on my shoulder and my face and there was quite a bit of blood.
"You’ve always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I
was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out
of the race."
Ineos team doctor Derick Macleod reported that Thomas had passed his
initial concussion roadside test "but with the nature and severity of
the impact, it was felt unsafe for him to continue in the race".
"He was taken to hospital and thankfully all the X-rays and scans
have come back clear. He’s now back in the Team hotel and in good
spirits,” Macleod added.
The incident comes less than a week after his Ineos team-mate,
four-time Tour de France champion Froome broke a leg, hip, elbow and
ribs in a horrific fall in the Criterium du Dauphine.
Froome, 34, was airlifted to hospital in Saint-Etienne for emergency
surgery after slamming into a wall at high speed during practice last
Wednesday ahead of the fourth stage of the race in central France.
Medical sources at the French hospital where Froome is being treated
told AFP Tuesday that the Briton was due to leave intensive care this
weekend but would remain in hospital.
Tuesday's stage on the Tour de Suisse was won by Italian Elia Viviani
of Deceuninck-Quick Step, who outsprinted Aussie Michael Matthews and
Peter Sagan, who held on to the yellow jersey.
Ineos still have Colombian protege Egan Bernal in the running for
victory here, he showed true class when winning Paris-Nice in March, and
the 22-year-old all-rounder is the bookies favourite for victory in
France this July.
Bernal himself had been slated to take part in the Giro d'Italia, but broke a collarbone while training in early May.
The Tour de Suisse continues until Sunday with three crunch mountainous stages and an individual time-trial still on the menu.