Thomas vows to ride on with fracture

Geraint Thomas is vowing to battle on in the Tour de France after riding through a second consecutive stage with a fractured pelvis.

The double Olympic gold medallist suffered the injury in a crash in the opening stage on Saturday.

The Team Sky rider is lying in 194th place after Monday’s third stage, nearly 27 minutes behind leader Jan Bakelants.

“I’ve been better,” Thomas admitted after completing the stage in Calvi.

Analysis



“Simon Gerrans did a great job to get the stage win. It was Daryl Impey who led him out and they got it absolutely perfect. The sprint was so close. Without that team support Gerrans would not have won.

“Mark Cavendish was not around to contest the finish and he did not take the intermediate sprint that seriously earlier in the day. He has expressed an interest in the green jersey but Peter Sagan and Marcel Kittel have got a big buffer on him now in the points category which is going to take some overhauling.

“At the back of the race, Geraint Thomas rode very bravely with a fractured pelvis. Team Sky’s head of business operations Fran Millar says they are going to stop telling people to ‘man up’ and tell them to ‘gee up’ instead. It’s a nice little phrase and very apt.

“I’m no doctor but I don’t imagine any pain can be coming from the fracture itself because, if so, you just could not ride a bike. The pain is probably coming from all the tissue around it. So with any luck, after three or four days he might start to feel better and be able to get through this race.”

The fracture was revealed by an MRI scan on Sunday after initial X-rays had shown no injury.

“It explains a lot, because yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had on bikes,” said Thomas.

“But I’ve done so much to lose weight and get fit for this and I’m not just going to give up straight away.

“The experts said it’s not going to get any worse, so we’ll give it a few days to see if the pain goes down, then we’ll see.

“I’m definitely going to give it a good go.

“My mum doesn’t want me to, but it’s the Tour, it’s not your average race, and I’m definitely going to keep fighting.”

Thomas started stage three in last place and finished nine minutes 15 seconds behind stage winner Simon Gerrans – a result that lifted the Welshman two places in the general classification.

However, he is unlikely to be of help to Team Sky in the team time trial in Nice on Tuesday.

But team principal David Brailsford was full of praise for Thomas’s efforts.

“We all have different tolerances to pain but the determination and level of suffering required to ride on a course like this, with its twists and turns where you can never get into any kind of rhythm, was really considerable,” he said.

“He suffered an awful, awful lot – he deserves every bit of recognition and support for his suffering.”

Thomas himself summed up his day in a matter of fact manner: “It felt a lot better today than yesterday and it felt a lot better than it did at the start,” he said.

“I can feel it slowly getting better, but I’ve got a crack in the bone [so] I guess it’s always going to hurt a bit isn’t it?”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/wales/23136211

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