Geraint Thomas Admits Loss Of Teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart Is Hard To Take

Geraint Thomas crosses the finish line during the 106th Giro d'Italia 2023, Stage 11. Pic: Getty Images

Geraint Thomas Admits Loss Of Teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart Is Hard To Take

By David Williams

Geraint Thomas admitted he has suffered a big loss as he looks to defend his lead at the Giro d’Italia without injured teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart.

British rider Geoghegan Hart – an Ineos Grenadiers teammate of Thomas’s – suffered a hip fracture and will need surgery after being involved in a crash during stage 11.

The 2020 champion was involved in a multi-bike accident in wet conditions on a downhill descent with around 70km of the race’s longest leg remaining.

Welsh former Tour de France champion and Giro overall race leader Thomas was also involved in the incident, but was able to continue along with nearest challenger Primoz Roglic.

Thomas said after the race: “As usual we were jostling for position, a UAE guy crashed next to me. I don’t know exactly who was taken out after me.

“We were pretty much on the same spot. Unfortunately Tao is badly injured. It’s obviously a big loss.

“He was going very well. He was in a really great position and it’s very unfortunate to lose him this way.”

Thomas retained the pink jersey for overall race leader with a two-second lead over Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic.

Geoghegan Hart, who sat third in the overall standings, was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after receiving roadside treatment.

After being taken to hospital for more examinations, the Ineos Grenadiers team confirmed Geoghegan Hart was set for an extended spell of recovery.

“Immediately following his involvement in a crash during today’s Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, Tao Geoghegan Hart was transported to a local hospital in Genoa,” an Ineos Grenadiers statement said.

“After further assessment, imaging confirmed that Tao had sustained a fracture of the left hip which will require surgery.

“Tao, the thoughts and best wishes of all your fellow Grenadiers are with you tonight. We wish you a speedy recovery and know you have what it takes to come back even stronger!”

Pascal Ackermann, riding for UAE Team Emirates, claimed the stage 11 victory after triumphing courtesy of a photo finish in Tortona, crossing the line just ahead of Jonathan Milan.

This year’s race has been beset with problems as poor weather has been accompanied by a coronavirus outbreak, which has now seen 13 riders withdraw.

Soudal Quick-Step riders Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo were the latest to pull out on Wednesday.

Stage 11 results

1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger/UAE Team Emirates) 5hrs 9mins 2secs
2. Jonathan Milan (Ita/Bahrain Victorious) Same time
3. Mark Cavendish (GB/Astana – Qazaqstan Team)
4. Mads Pedersen (Den/Trek – Segafredo)
5. Stefano Oldani (Ita/Alpecin -Deceuninck)
6. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita/EOLO – Kometa Cycling Team)
7. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger/Team DSM)
8. Davide Ballerini (Ita/Soudal – Quick-step)
9. Simone Consonni (Ita/Cofidis)
10. Arne Marit (Bel/Intermarché-Circus-Wanty)

General classification

1. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) 44hrs 35mins 35secs
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +2secs
3. Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +22secs
4. Andreas Leknessund (Nor/Team DSM) +35secs
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Bahrain Victorious) +1min 28secs
6. Lennard Kamna (Ger/BORA-hansgrohe) +1min 52secs
7. Edward Dunbar (Ire/Jayco-AIUla) +2mins 32secs
8. Thymen Arensman (Ned/Ineos Grenadiers) Same time
9. Laurens De Plus (Bel/Ineos Grenadiers) +2min 36secs
10. Aurelien Paret-Peintre (Fra/AG2R – Citroën Team) +2min 48secs

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