Thomas endures day of struggle

01 July 2021 04:45:20 GMTPlus10

Geraint Thomas' hopes of winning a second Tour de France are hanging by a thread after the Welshman lost more ground in a time trial around Laval.

Thomas has faded out to 4500/1 after trailing home in 16th place, losing a minute and 18 seconds to stage winner Tadej Pogacar.

I tried to do what I could and it wasn't enough.

Geraint Thomas

Defending champion Pogacar is now 1/1000 to retain his title after cutting his deficit to race leader Mathieu Van der Poel to just eight seconds.

Thomas, who won the Tour in 2018, now finds himself almost two minutes down in the overall rankings heading into stage six, a 160km ride from Tours to Chateauroux.

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The Welshman had gone into this year's race as Ineos Grenadiers' big hope to challenge Pogacar, and he would certainly have been among the fancied riders in the first time trial of this year's race.

But expectations for the 35-year-old were revised after he suffered a heavy fall on stage three, dislocating his shoulder. Thomas said he woke up on Wednesday morning feeling "terrible" and despite a solid ride, he was some way short of his best.

"I rode the best TT I could," he told ITV4 after crossing the line. "I went out conservatively, maybe too conservatively, but it's just what I had.

"I didn't feel 100 per cent, but I don't want to bang on about that. I tried to do what I could and it wasn't enough.

"It was decent pace, but not enough power. I didn't know what to expect, I woke up this morning and felt terrible, but once I got going it was better. I've just to crack on and deal with it."

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