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.
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.
LOOKING TO REPEAT: World No. 7 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the round-of-16 at the Toyota Thailand Open, after winning the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday Taiwan’s world No. 7 duo yesterday eased past the US’ world No. 37 pairing at the Toyota Thailand Open to reach the round-of-16 in Bangkok. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-14, 21-11 in just 24 minutes. Lee and Wang, who won the men’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday, next face the world No. 34 pairing, Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen again beat Thailand’s world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon, after edging past the Thai player in the opening round of the Yonex
Three new COVID-19 cases yesterday hit the Australian Open’s troubled buildup as a backlash grew against international tennis players flown in during a raging pandemic. Two of the new cases were players, state health officials said, taking the total infections to seven since more than 1,000 people arrived in largely COVID-19-free Australia on charter flights last week. The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services said that the two players and a third person associated with the tournament — a woman in her 20s, and two men in their 30s — had returned positive results. The year’s first Grand Slam, delayed three weeks,