The nightmare start to the 2021 Tour de France for Ineos Grenadiers continued on Monday as Geraint Thomas (Ineos Gernadier) hit the deck hard in the rain in the first hour of stage 3. Robert Gesink, a key lieutenant for Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in the mountains, also was involved in the crash and was forced to abandon.
With just under 150 km to go, the peloton was cruising along the coast when a crash rippled through the peloton. It appeared to be caused by a railroad crossing or speed bump and occurred toward the front of the peloton.
Immediately, TV cameras spotted Thomas on the ground clutching his right shoulder and in visible pain. When examined by the Tour medics, Thomas winced slightly when they touched his collarbone area.
According to Belgium TV, Thomas had a separated shoulder, which was popped back in while he was sitting on the ground. The Welshman slowly remounted and eventually rejoined the peloton some 20 kilometers later with the help of super domestique Luke Rowe.
Thomas started the Tour de France as one of four potential leaders for the Ineos Grenadiers. Between Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Richard Carapaz, and Richie Porte, the legendary Grand Tour team came into the 2021 Tour with a fork of options.
Two major crashes on the first stage turned the Ineos Grenadiers fork into a carving fork, with only Thomas and Carapaz still within two minutes of Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar.
Stage two was another knock for the former Tour de France winner, Thomas lost 23 seconds on the Mûr de Bretagne. Seemingly insignificant, but this early in the game it was not a good sign.
More details to come…