Thomas clear for Tour despite crash

Team Ineos rider and Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas receiving treatment after falling during the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Team Ineos rider and Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas receiving treatment after falling during the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LAUSANNE • Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has been given the all-clear to defend his title at next month's three-week race despite crashing out of the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday.

A statement released by Team Ineos said: "Thomas was taken straight to hospital having suffered abrasions on his shoulder and a cut above his right eye in the wake of the crash, but thankfully, the 33-year-old has not sustained any further injuries."

Although the crash is a setback in the Welshman's Tour de France preparations, the two-time Olympic gold medallist is confident of reaching peak fitness in time for the race.

"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.

"We will recalibrate and I'm sure my coach Tim (Kerrison) will have a plan in place to ensure I'm ready for July 6."

Ineos are already without four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome for the race which ends July 27. He suffered multiple fractures, including a broken pelvis, hip, femur and elbow, and had to undergo emergency surgery following a heavy crash at the Criterium du Dauphine in France last week.

The Briton is expected to leave intensive care over the weekend, but will continue treatment at the same Saint-Etienne hospital.

While Froome will miss out on a chance to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title, there is hope he could return to cycling in six months.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2019, with the headline 'Thomas clear for Tour despite crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe