Thu, Jun 20, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Ineos rocked after Thomas crashes in Tour de Suisse

AFP, LAUSANNE, Switzerland

Geraint Thomas on Tuesday crashed heavily in a second major scare for Team Ineos after Chris Froome last week sustained serious injuries, ruling him out of the Tour de France.

Reigning Tour de France champion Thomas was rushed to a 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 de France 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 said 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,” Ineos added.

“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,” Thomas said in a statement.

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,” he said. “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 said 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 came less than a week after his Ineos teammate and 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 a hospital in Saint-Etienne, France, for emergency surgery after slamming into a wall at high speed during practice on Wednesday last week ahead of the fourth stage of the race in central France.

Medical sources at the French hospital where Froome is being treated on Tuesday told reporters that the Briton was due to leave intensive care this weekend, but would remain hospitalized.

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