Geraint Thomas is out of the Giro d’Italia after crashing on stage three when he ran over a stray water bottle which had caused an “undisplaced fracture of his pelvis”.
Thomas was felled before the flag had even dropped to start the 150km stage from Enna, running over a stray bottle that rolled across the road and landing heavily on his left side.
He initially looked untroubled beyond some rips in his jersey as he got back in the peloton, but when the pace was ignited on the approach to Etna, Thomas was soon distanced as it became obvious he was carrying hidden injuries.
2020 you can just do one now🤬Thanks for all your well wishes though guys🙌😘 pic.twitter.com/UTm0JKs1Uz
INEOS Grenadiers 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 As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”
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.”
It is more bad luck for Thomas in the Giro after his 2017 bid for glory was effectively ended by a crash with a police motorbike on stage nine.
Just as the gap to Thomas began to yawn on the 19km climb to the finish, there was more bad news for British fans as Adam Yates dropped out of the back of the peloton while attacks were lighting up at the front.
Two years ago Yates took pink on this volcano but this time his hopes took what could be a fatal blow as he toiled up the steep slopes, crossing the line more than four minutes down after Jonathan Caicedo celebrated victory to drop to 25th place, three minutes and 46 seconds down.
Caicedo won stage three from a breakaway, narrowly missing out on the leader’s pink jersey which moved on to the shoulders of Joao Almeida, but the biggest moves in the general classification came as Thomas and Yates, the two main pre-race favourites, slid out the back.
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