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Thomas crash gifts Romandie stage win and lead to Woods


Britain’s Geraint Thomas (L) falls next to winner Canada’s Michael Woods prior to the arrival of the stage 5, 161.3 km, from Sion to Thyon 2000, during the Tour de Romandie UCI World Tour 2021 cycling race on May 1, 2021 in Thyon. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

THYON, Switzerland -- Geraint Thomas crashed to the rain-soaked road in a sprint finish in the main mountains stage of the Tour de Romandie, gifting victory and the leader’s yellow jersey to Michael Woods.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner, had taken the lead in a two-rider race to the finish of a chilly, 161-kilometer (100-mile) stage when he slipped out of the saddle with about 30 meters left.

“I just had no feeling whatsoever in my hands,” he said. “I tried to change gear, but instead I just lost the bars. It’s so frustrating.”

Woods crossed the line alone, 17 seconds ahead of Ben O’Connor, who rounded Thomas as the Welshman remounted and slowly got moving again to finish third.

Thomas lost 21 seconds in the stage and trailed Canadian Woods by 11 seconds overall.

The six-day race through the French-speaking region of Switzerland ends on Sunday with a 16-kilometer (10-mile) time trial where Thomas is favored to win back time.

“I feel fine (physically), it’s more the frustration after such a hard day, to lose time like that at the end,” Thomas said. “Eleven seconds behind, so it’s all to play for.”

O’Connor is third in the overall standings, trailing Woods by 21 seconds.