Thomas bounces back after late crash

13 Jul 2019

Thomas bounces back after late crash

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Tour de France stage eight: Mâcon - Saint-Étienne, 200km

Geraint Thomas battled back from a late crash to maintain his overall position on a dramatic stage eight of the Tour de France which was won by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) from the breakaway.

Thomas was caught up in an incident with Michael Woods (EF Education First) which saw him crash with 15km to go on the descent of the penultimate climb as teammates Gianni Moscon and Michal Kwiatkowski were also delayed by a small pile up.

Fortunately, Thomas was unscathed and was able to chase back to the peloton thanks to teammates Wout Poels, Dylan van Baarle and Jonathan Catroviejo who guided him back to the bunch before the final climb.

However, just as the Welsh rider made it back to the GC group, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) attacked on the final climb to earn bonus seconds at the peak of the ascent, before continuing to press on in order to catch De Gendt. 

And while the French duo failed in their bid to stop a remarkable win for the Lotto Soudal man, Pinot finished second, with his compatriot third which saw the Groupama-FDJ rider move up to third overall, while Alaphilippe regained the yellow jersey. 

Egan Bernal and Thomas finished ninth and 10th respectively, 20 seconds behind the GC pair to retain their overall positions, but with the time gap to the maillot jaune having increased.
Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

“It’s annoying and frustrating, but at the same time, to come back like I did shows the legs are good."
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Geraint Thomas

“I’m fine, but it’s just frustrating as the crash happened at a key point in the race.

“Woods crashed and took out Gianni and me and I just got tangled up in Gianni’s bike, it took a bit of time to get going, but the boys did a great job to get me back to the group.

“I caught up for the final ascent, was moving up a bit and by the time I got to the top 15-20, that’s when Alaphilippe and Pinot attacked over the top to take the bonus seconds and I was gassed for a bit.

“I didn’t want to ride on the front and tow everyone, Sunweb had numbers and there was a few other guys trying to ride and you’re sat there thinking ‘oh come on’.

“It’s annoying and frustrating, but at the same time, to come back like I did shows the legs are good. You don’t want to give any unnecessary time away and if I hadn’t have crashed I could have followed them and it would have been a totally different story - but that’s the way it goes. There’s still a lot of racing to come."
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Michal Kwiatkowski

Stage eight result 

1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) 5:00:17
2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) +6”
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) s.t.
4. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) +26" 
5. Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) s.t.
9. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS)  s.t.
10. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) s.t.


Overall Standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 34:17:59
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +23”
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) +53”
4. George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) +1’10”
5. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +1’12”
6. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) +1’16”

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