Alps halt Geraint Thomas Tour de France challenge

·1-min read
Geraint Thomas's Tour dreams are behind him

Former winner Geraint Thomas saw his Tour de France challenge wilt on Saturday as the 21-day race entered the Alps with a 150km run over three categorised mountains.

Thomas and last year's runner up Primoz Roglic were riding in a large group 12min 30sec off the pace over the top of the first climb.

The writing has been on the wall for the tough Welshman, who is the Ineos team leader, since he dislocated a shoulder on Monday then suffered from stiffness in the individual time-trial on Wednesday.

While Thomas, the 2018 champion, held his own on Friday's wild romp along the longest stage for 21 years, Saturday's first climb exposed how much the fall had taken out of him.

"Something will happen to someone," Thomas predicted the day before the Tour embarked from the Atlantic port of Brest.

Slovenian Roglic, of Jumbo Visma, heavily bandaged after a fall of his own on Monday, had lost almost ten minutes on Friday.

Ecuador's Richie Carapaz is now the sole podium hope for British team Ineos. He started the day in position to challenge race favourite Tadej Pogacar.

Ineos began the Tour with four co-leaders, but Thomas, Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart have all left their podium dreams behind as the race crossed the breadth of France from the west coast to the Swiss border in the first eight stages.

dmc/pb

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