Tour de France 2021: Geraint Thomas crashes during third stage

The Ineos-Grenadiers leader fell off his bike with about 145 kilometres left in Monday's third stage in the Brittany region.

Britain's Geraint Thomas arrives to sign the start list of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 182.9 kilometers (113.65 miles) with start in Lorient and finish in Pontivy, France, Monday, June 28, 2021.   -  AP

Former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas was involved in a crash during the third stage of the three-week race.

The Ineos-Grenadiers leader fell off his bike with about 145 kilometres left in Monday's third stage in the Brittany region.

Thomas remained on the ground for a while and looked like he would retire but ultimately went back on his bike.

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Tour organisers said the peloton was riding at 43 kph when the crash took place. Robert Gesink, a teammate of last year's runner-up Primoz Roglic, also fell and was forced to abandon.

Thomas, the 2018 champion, struggled at the back of the race afterwards. His teammate Luke Rowe waited for him, and the Welsh pair lagged 2 minutes and 30 seconds behind the peloton.

Thomas was 20th overall before the start of the stage, 41 seconds behind race leader Mathieu van der Poel.

He had predicted “a stressful day" because of the bad weather conditions.

The race started under rain in the town of Lorient and a group of five riders surged ahead immediately.

Behind, the peloton rode at a pedestrian pace and riders were accompanied by scattered showers making the roads slippery and dangerous.

The crash-prone Thomas has shown in the past he can soldier on in pain.

When riding the Tour de France in support of Chris Froome back in 2013, he fell off his bike on a Corsican road in the opening stage and broke his pelvis. Against all odds, Thomas kept racing on for 3,000 kilometers to the finish line in Paris, where he celebrated the first of Froome’s four victories with the rest of their Team Sky teammates.

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