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by Shane Stokes
May 20, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Gaviria nets fourth victory on stage 13 of Giro d’Italia; Garfoot continues Orica-Scott’s success in Emakumeen Bira with stage 3 win; Weening wins stage 3 of the Tour of Norway; Evtushenko wins stage 1 of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; Pirazzi and Ruffoni sacked by Bardiani-CSF team after confirmation of B-sample positive; Battered and bruised, Thomas quits Giro d’Italia; Van Garderen: I don’t know why it is not working; Nicky Hayden in ‘extremely critical’ condition following Wednesday’s bike crash; Ullrich resigns from Rund um Köln position; Vulpine – what went wrong?; Belda positive for EPO; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 13 Pre Race; Video: Sagan and the fans at the Amgen Tour of California
Five days after a heavy fall on the Blockhaus stage of the race, Geraint Thomas finally called a halt to his Giro d’Italia prior to Friday’s stage. The Team Sky rider rallied strongly on Tuesday to take second in the time trial, but that recovery proved to be short-lived; he struggled afterwards and things continued to worsen.
“I’ve been suffering since my crash on Sunday,” he said. “I’ve had an issue with my shoulder which is manageable, but my knee has also been getting worse each day. Obviously it’s never nice to leave a race early, especially when it’s your main goal of the season, but I have to look at the bigger picture.
“I’d love to continue, but it would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing. I’ll turn my attention to the Tour de France now, and I want to arrive there with the same good form I started the Giro with.” The Italian event was Thomas’ chance to ride for GC this season, as Chris Froome will target the Tour de France and, most likely, the Vuelta a España.
“It’s desperately sad for Geraint,” said Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford. “He has worked hard to arrive here in such great condition and we were looking forward to seeing him compete. As always, he has shown true fighting spirit and demonstrated what a competitor he is, but the impacts of a crash like that take their toll.
“We have to make sure that his injuries are managed optimally, ensure he is able to maintain his fitness and condition, and then look to set new targets.” With Mikel Landa also out of the GC hunt due to the same crash, Brailsford said a stage win would be the new focus for the team.