Tour de France 2021 - Bradley Wiggins backs 'hard man' Geraint Thomas to fight on with dislocated shoulder
"He’s as tough as they come, Geraint. He’s a hard, hard man and hopefully his injuries aren’t too bad because you never know with Geraint. I wouldn’t underestimate him. This is the sort of fire he would get in his belly to spur him on for more," said Bradley Wiggins after Thomas dislocated his shoulder on Stage 3. Will the Brit take to the start on Tuesday?
'Does not look good' – Thomas dislocates shoulder in nasty crash on Stage 3
It looked as though the Welshman's race was over, but he worked with teammates Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle to erode a 2'30" gap to the peloton. He is now 18th in GC, 1:07 off leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).
It remains to be seen whether Thomas, who was sent for an ultrasound after finishing Monday's stage, will take to the start on Tuesday but former teammate Wiggins backed him to continue and said the incident could even spur him on.
'That shows how tough he is' - Wiggins salutes fighter Thomas after Stage 3 crash
“It’s a real shame for him,” said Wiggins on Eurosport commentary. “But I don’t know many riders, other than Sean Yates, who come as hard as Geraint.
“When you think of some of the falls he’s had in the past and the injuries he’s sustained and the injuries he’s ridden on with… My mind goes back to 2013 where he fractured his pelvis on Stage 1 in Corsica.
He’s as tough as they come, Geraint. He’s a hard, hard man and hopefully his injuries aren’t too bad because you never know with Geraint.
“I wouldn’t underestimate him. This is the sort of fire he would get in his belly to spur him on for more.”
'He was hurt' - Will Roglic bounce back?
'This is a disaster' – Roglic crashes late on Stage 3, Jumbo-Visma launch rescue mission
Thomas was not the only GC hopeful to hit the tarmac, with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) also crashing during the chaotic stage.
Roglic, sporting huge road rashes on his left shoulder and left hip, came home 1:21 down on stage winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin–Fenix) and, crucially, 55 seconds behind defending champion Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
“I’m not worried about the time gaps, I’m worried about his injuries," said Brian Smith on The Breakaway when asked if Roglic could still claim the yellow jersey.
"Normally Roglic bounces up but he didn’t. He stood there for a moment. He was hurt. It’s how quickly these riders can heal."
After hearing Thomas was ahead of Roglic in GC, Smith added: "That surprises me how close he was at the end. I’m flabbergasted by that."
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