Vuelta a España: Geraint Thomas loses time after crash on stage 7

Another setback as Ineos Grenadiers GC struggled through discomfort on long, flat stage

ClockUpdated 17:40, Friday 1st September 2023. Published 14:31, Friday 1st September 2023
Geraint Thomas making his way back onto the Vuelta a España peloton

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Geraint Thomas making his way back onto the Vuelta a España peloton

Geraint Thomas' Vuelta a España ambitions took a further blow after crashing on stage 7, and losing time in the finale after a day of discomfort.

During an otherwise uneventful first 100km of stage 7, the Ineos Grenadiers leader crashed in the peloton and appeared to be riding with some discomfort in his knee.

Before the live images started, with around 130km to go, the Welshman was reportedly involved in a crash with teammate Kim Heiduk, with both coming off their bike and having to chase back on.

With no footage of the incident itself, it’s not clear how the crash happened, but images were shown on Spanish television of Thomas being helped back to his feet on the side of the road. The Ineos leader had a cut on his left knee, and was in visible discomfort as he stood up.

“It’s just from where I crashed from before on that knee,” Thomas could be heard saying, as he slowly remounted his bike and got riding again.

Read more: Geraint Thomas sees Vuelta a España chances dented on brutal mountain stage

Thomas and Heiduk soon rejoined the peloton, but around 20km later - around the 110km to go mark - the Welshman climbed off his bike once again as the peloton slowed through the feed zone. A team staff member took another look at his injured knee and cleaned the cut before Thomas started again, with a minute’s gap to close to the peloton once again.

The bad luck wasn't over, though. On a messy run-in to Oliva, Thomas was caught out in a late split and crossed the line 24 seconds down on the peloton, which contained all his general classification rivals.

He already lost time on the race’s first summit finish, and once again on stage 6, and started stage 7 almost five minutes down on leader Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), and two minutes adrift of the main race favourites and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step).

With two big days of climbing up over the weekend, any pain or problems could spell big losses for Thomas, as his attempt to atone for his near-miss at the Giro d’Italia takes yet another blow.

It was a day to forget in general for Ineos Grenadiers, who lost co-leader Thymen Arensman altogether, the Dutchman coming down in a crash with 5km to go and having to be stretchered into an ambulance. Ineos Grenadiers have not yet provided an update on Arensman's condition.

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