Team Sky's Geraint Thomas withdraws from the Giro d'Italia due to injury
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia due to the injuries sustained during Sunday’s Stage 9 on Blockhaus – team officials have confirmed.
Thomas was considered a contender for the General Classification at this year’s Giro, but lost a huge chunk of time and sustained painful shoulder injuries in the crash, which was caused by a police motorbike.
The Welshman initially responded well to the setback, limiting his deficit to a little over five minutes on Sunday before recording a second-place finish in Tuesday’s time trial.
But the lingering impact of the injuries sustained in the crash, coupled with the bigger picture of a difficult summer of racing ahead, has led to Thomas pulling out of the Italian Grand Tour.
“I’ve been suffering since my crash on Sunday,” Thomas revealed in a statement released by Team Sky. “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."
And Thomas revealed that the prospect of riding the Tour de France in a little over a month's time was a factor in his decision:
" 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. I want to thank all the staff and riders here. It’s been great fun and I wish them all the best for the remainder of the Giro. I’ve really enjoyed racing in Italy again. The fans have been amazing and I’ll be back."
Team Sky chief Sir Dave Brailsford added:
" It’s desperately sad for Geraint. 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. As far as the team goes, the GC has gone but there is still plenty to fight for and the opportunity is there for our riders to achieve a stage win in the 100th Giro."
(Lead photo credit: Team Sky/Russ Ellis)