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Geraint Thomas vows time trial bounce-back after 'freak' road race crash

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Geraint Thomas pulled out of the Tokyo 2020 road race following a 'freak' crash with fellow Brit Tao Geoghegan Hart (Picture: Reuters)
Geraint Thomas pulled out of the Tokyo 2020 road race following a 'freak' crash with fellow Brit Tao Geoghegan Hart (Picture: Reuters)

Geraint Thomas promised one final push towards Wednesday’s time trial after another nightmare Olympic road race crash, writes Tom Harle.

The Cardiff star collided with fellow Team GB rider Tao Geoghegan Hart in the early stages of the 230km race in Tokyo, falling on his right side.

Having suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first week of the Tour de France that concluded last week, the 2018 yellow jersey winner was left to lick his wounds once again.

"I'm feeling beat up, but not too bad,” said the 35-year-old. “I've felt worse.

“Landing on the same side wasn't ideal, and the muscles were almost in spasm.

“It's just disappointing, such a freak thing. Tao slipped on a bit of a metal, a metal ridge along the middle of the road.

“I was on his wheel with nowhere to go, and just went straight down myself.

“It's disappointing after all the hard work and sacrifice this year, especially after the Tour with all that happened there.”

TOKYO 2020 - 'THE TALENT IN THE SQUAD IS FANTASTIC' - JILL SCOTT ON TEAM GB'S SQUAD FOR TOKYO
TOKYO 2020 - 'THE TALENT IN THE SQUAD IS FANTASTIC' - JILL SCOTT ON TEAM GB'S SQUAD FOR TOKYO

After the collision before the Doshi Road ascent, Thomas picked himself up and gave chase to the back of the peloton, which he reached in time for the Fuji Sanroku climb.

But he threw in the towel at the start of the the first circuit of the Fuji Speedway racing track, with 60km to go.

He was left to watch Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Richard Carapaz solo to victory.

Thomas had spoken of his Olympic redemption mission having crashed out of the road race at the Rio Olympics in 2016 when in a position to chase a medal.

Having also crashed out of the 2020 Giro D’Italia - his Grand Tour target for last season- after slipping on a stray bottle, the two-time Olympic gold medallist is building an unfortunate body of work when it comes to crashes.

Able to make light of the situation, Thomas tweeted in the hours after the race: “Think I must have done something bad in a past life!”

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British Cycling performance director Stephen Park tried to spin a positive out of the Welshman’s decision to withdraw ahead of Wednesday’s time trial.

“When we got to the second half of the race, it was better for him to conserve whatever energy he had to make sure he could recover and get ready for the time trial on Wednesday,” said Park.

“This race has been a war of attrition. It's been very hot, very humid, and will take riders a reasonable period of time to recover.

“It's about trying to minimise the damage and give ourselves the best chance of rest, which was definitely the best option.”

Thomas will be joined by Hart in the time trial and offered reassurance that he will be physically and mentally renewed for the challenge.

“At the moment, I don't think I'd say I'm looking forward to Wednesday but it's another chance,” added Thomas, whose race was broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+.

“I just want to forget about everything tonight, switch off, have dinner and ring Max, my son. That puts it all in perspective.

“I'll get up tomorrow, recover as best I can and give it one last hit.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, the Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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