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Geraint Thomas won’t take the start in stage four of the Giro d’Italia, Gazzetta dello Sport reports.
The Welshman started the race as one of the favourites for the overall win but crashed in the neutral zone of stage three, forcing him to lose over 12 minutes on the demanding finish on Mount Etna.
Thomas came to the Giro d’Italia in flying form with a second place in the Tirreno Adriatico and a strong time trial performance at the World Championships where he finished just off the podium in fourth place. The winner of the 2018 Tour de France was the designated leader for Ineos-Grenadiers and solidified his role as overall favorite in the opening time trial taking time on all the other pre-race contenders.
Bad luck struck in the neutral zone of stage three on Monday. The peloton crossed a section of flagstones on the downhill which caused many bottles to rattle from their cages. Thomas hit one of the bottles and went down on his left-side. He managed to finish the stage but was in obvious discomfort and pain.
A team statement reported on Tuesday morning that scans revealed a fracture of the pelvis for the 34-year old and the decision was made to not continue the race.
Team Doctor Phil Riley said, “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”
Geraint Thomas said, “It’s so frustrating. I’d put so much work in to this race. I did everything I could and feel like I was in just as good, if not better shape, than when I won the Tour. I was feeling really good. So for it just to end like this is gutting.
“I was really up for starting today. I woke up and wanted to start with the boys and at least help them go for stages over the next few days, but deep down I knew something wasn’t right, so we went to get these extra scans. It does make the decision easier when there’s a fracture in some ways, because obviously I don’t want to do anymore damage.”
Thomas isn’t the first of the GC contenders to leave the race. On the opening day Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno crashed out after hitting a pothole in the time trial. A day later his Astana teammate and season revelation Alexander Vlasov had to give up with stomach problems. Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates lost over four minutes on the third stage and also seems out of contention for the overall win in this year’s Giro d’Italia.