Cycling: Thomas happy to survive huge Tour de France crashes on opening day
26th June 2021

LANDERNEAU, FRANCE (REUTERS) – Geraint Thomas was happy just to survive a brutal opening day on the Tour de France after the first stage was marred by two huge crashes that saw two of his fellow Ineos-Grenadiers overall contenders losing time on Saturday (June 26).

“It was a solid day, stressful with a few crashes. In the big crash at the end, I had no idea who was in it,” the 2018 Tour champion, who is a favourite this year, told reporters.

“It ended up with (team mate) Richie (Porte) being in it which wasn’t great. I was just concentrating on staying on my bike basically,” added Thomas.

He crossed the line in 10th place – eight seconds behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe of France after the 197.8km ride from Brest that ended with a short, steep climb up to the Cote de la Fosse aux Loups.

Team mates Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart were involved in separate crashes and ended up 2:16 and 5:33 off the pace respectively in a massive blow to their overall chances.

“I was too far back on that last climb,” added Thomas.

“At the time I thought it’s okay, I’ll sit here and then slowly move up when it lulls. I was expecting it to lull after the steep bit and then move up a bit. But it never lulled. I think because Alaphilippe went so hard for so long, it was just full gas all the way up.

“It made my life a bit harder. But for me personally it’s not too bad. I never feel 100% on the first stage after a few easy days. Happy to get through it but gutted about Richie and Tao.”

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