Geraint Thomas has admitted that the 2021 Tour de France has been exacting a tough mental cost as well as being physically draining.
Thomas’ chances of winning the Tour were dashed when he lost more than half an hour on stage 8 in the Alps. He has endured a difficult start to the event since a crash on stage 3 that dislocated his shoulder.
The 35-year-old Ineos rider failed to impress at stage 5’s time trial, and stage 7 was also a difficult one, before Stage 8 essentially wiped him out.
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Thomas could only manage a 174th finish on the day, and he is now 45th in the General Classification - 36m03s behind UAE Team Emirates rider and Tour leader Tadej Pogacar.
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"The crash has taken a lot more out of me than I thought,” he said of his race fitness, reported Cycling News.
“You always get through some days and talk yourself into it, you’ll get better, but yeah, it was a super hard stage, a hard start. I was on the back foot straight away and that was it.
"It was a wet day, hard roads, and they were racing in front all day, so I had no chance to get back or even come back from a bad patch.”
With Team Ineos now out of contention for the overall win, they will need to decide what is the best use of their resources. Thomas also must consider if he is better served by an early withdrawal to take on the Tokyo Olympic Games after a period of recovery.
Thomas admitted his disappointment, saying: “After a lot of hard work since January, to finish 33 minutes down with the sprinters, it’s not really what I wanted. It’s tough on the head as much as anything else.
“There have been a lot of sacrifices to get here. I got through it anyway and tomorrow is another day."
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