Geraint Thomas forced to pull out of Paris-Nice after crashing in final five kilometres of stage seven on Saturday

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has withdrawn from Paris-Nice after sustaining injuries as a result of a heavy fall in the final five kilometres of stage seven on Saturday.

Thomas had started the day in second place overall, just eight seconds behind leader Carlos Betancur (Ag2r). However, a crash near the finale of Saturday’s penultimate stage saw him lose well over seven minutes on stage winner Tom-Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp) and Betancur – his hopes of a podium placing dashed.

Thomas will now recuperate before taking to the start line of Milan-San Remo on March 23 and commencing his 2014 Spring Classics campaign.

Team Sky confirmed Thomas’s withdrawal on Saturday evening, but had earlier issued a statement from the squad’s doctor, Richard Usher saying that they would observe him overnight.

“Geraint’s got multiple bruises and abrasions but we’ve cleaned him up and he won’t need a trip to the hospital. He’s travelled back to the hotel with us this evening and we’ll monitor his situation closely overnight.”