Geraint Thomas abandons 2017 Giro d'Italia: "It would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing"
Welshman fails to recover from injuries suffered in stage nine crash
Geraint Thomas has abandoned the 2017 Giro d’Italia after failing to recover from the injuries he suffered on Blockhaus on stage nine.
Team Sky’s Welshman was bidding to become the first Brit to ever win the Giro d’Italia, but his GC hopes took a huge hit when he was one of several riders to hit the deck in an incident involving a poorly-positioned police motorbike.
Having been second overall at the time, he lost more than five minutes to stage winner Nairo Quintana on the day.
And though he bounced back to finish second in the stage ten time trial, following the rest day, Thomas has suffered on the following two stages – losing contact with the peloton on both days.
Explaining the decision to quit the race, Thomas said: “Obviously it’s never nice to leave a race early, especially when it’s your main goal of the season, but I have to look at the bigger picture.
“I'd love to continue, but it would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing.
“I’ll turn my attention to the Tour now, and I want to arrive there with as good form as I started the Giro.
“I want to thank all the staff and riders here. It’s been great fun and I wish them all the best for the remainder of the Giro. I’ve really enjoyed racing in Italy again. The fans have been amazing and I’ll be back."
Thomas explained that, though his shoulder injury has been manageable, he is also suffering a knee injury which has ultimately taken its toll.
But team principal Sir Dave Brailsford insists there is still plenty to fight for.
“As far as the team goes, the GC has gone but there is the opportunity for our riders to achieve a stage win in the 100th Giro," he said.
“It’s desperately sad for Geraint. He has worked hard to arrive here in such great condition and we were looking forward to seeing him compete.
“As always, he has shown true fighting spirit and demonstrated what a competitor he is, but the impacts of a crash like that take their toll.
"We have to make sure that his injuries are managed optimally, ensure he is able to maintain his fitness and condition, and then look to set new targets."
It leaves two Brits in the race – both making their Giro d’Italia debuts this year – with Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) currently 16th overall.
The Bury-born rider was also involved in the crash on Blockhaus, having been third at the time, and is now 6’52" behind race leader Tom Dumoulin, 2’35" outside the top ten and 2’56" behind youth classification leader Bob Jungels.
Hugh Carthy, who was involved in the breakaway on stage 11, is currently 78th overall.