PONTIVY, France: Ineos leader Geraint Thomas dislocated his left shoulder in a hard fall on the third stage of the Tour de France on Monday (Jun 28), kicking his legs out in pain as doctors put it back in before he gingerly retook his saddle to resume racing.
Welshman Thomas was at first left to his own fate by team-mates clearly fearful that he would have to pull out.
He was trailing the main pack by three minutes when he set off again, and fellow Welshman Luke Rowe then dropped back in an attempt to help Thomas reel in the peloton.
Race judges reacted angrily when the pair tucked into the tailwind of an Ineos team car, and two other riders fell back to shepherd the 35-year-old back into the main peloton with 125km of rainy route remaining.
Thomas still appeared to be in discomfort after rejoining the pack, and had ripped his shorts with slight grazing visible.
Thomas brought down Jumbo rider Robert Gesink, who ran over the Welshman, and had to pull out of the Tour due to his injuries.
Thomas had predicted a problematic day ahead of the race, saying: "It'll be a nervous stage, we are on the Tour de France and things can change quickly."
The 2018 champion and 2019 runner-up, Thomas was 41 seconds off the lead at the start of Monday's largely flat stage from Lorient to Pontivy, where heavy showers were making the road slick.
Ineos started the Tour with three co-leaders in a daring quartet strategy aimed at stopping the ever-improving champion Tadej Pogacar, but Thomas said that he doubted all four would still be in the mix by the end of the first week, saying "something will happen to someone, it always does".