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“I’m all right. I’m a bit shaken up but I’m fine. I have had a lot worse. It’s frustrating because you try so hard to get over that climb. I don’t know why guys don’t just sit where they are on desc...

Photo: A.S.O.

GERAINT THOMAS

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NEWS

PETER KENNAUGH

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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20.07.2015 @ 22:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Chris Froome retained the Tour de France race lead while Geraint Thomas finished stage 16 despite a scary crash in Gap.

 

The pair were joined by Wout Poels and an elite group of contenders on the notoriously technical descent off the Col de Manse.

 

Thomas came down on a tight corner after he was collided with by an out of control Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), hitting a telegraph pole and leaving the road before dropping down into a ditch.

 

The Welshman quickly remounted and crossed the line just 38 seconds back on the group of contenders containing the yellow jersey of Froome.

 

 

 

“I’m all right. I’m a bit shaken up but I’m fine. I have had a lot worse," said Thomas after the stage. "It’s frustrating because you try so hard to get over that climb. I don’t know why guys don’t just sit where they are on descents.

 

"I was just following the wheel and then all of a sudden Barguil was just going straight on, and pushed me off into a big lamppost and down a ditch!

 

"I feel alright for now, but I guess the doctor will ask me my name and date of birth soon," he added before showing that he has not lost his sense of humour. When asked about his name, he promptly said "Chris Froome":

 

 

"A nice Frenchman [helped me]. You know, they are nice here," he said. "There’s a few that aren’t but a nice Frenchman pulled me out. I lost my glasses as well, and they don’t even make them anymore.

 

"I didn’t fall too far, because I was all tangled up in the bushes and the wire thing. I jumped on my bike and then the mechanic came with my spare one and I jumped on that. I probably wasted a few seconds there but whatever."

 

 

 

"I don’t think it was too dangerous, it’s just how we race on it," Thomas said. "I don’t know why people don’t just chill a bit – wherever you are in the line just stay there and go down safely instead of fighting like a bloody bunch sprint.

 

"I don’t know why people can’t just stay in one line, sit where you are. What’s the point in fighting for position on a descent like that that’s known to be treacherous, so that’s annoying. There’s nothing you can do there. Hopefully he just learns his lesson."

 

 

With a strong tailwind behind the riders heading out of Bourg-de-Peage the peloton were pushed along at an average of just under 50km/h early on.

 

Team Sky again set about controlling the race, but were sadly reduced to eight riders, as shortly before the 50km mark Pete Kennaugh was forced to abandon the race due to illness.

 

"Pete has been suffering from a respiratory illness for the last two days," confirmed team Doctor Richard Usher.

 

"He had been recovering and felt better ahead of the start, but the combination of the heat today and the fast start in the peloton made it extremely difficult and he felt like he was lacking power in his legs.

 

"He's obviously very disappointed and will now head home to rest and recover."

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