Geraint Thomas withdraws from Giro d'Italia with broken pelvis

CATANIA, Sicily -- Geraint Thomas withdrew from the Giro d'Italia before Tuesday's fourth stage after breaking his pelvis in a fall a day earlier.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion, crashed in the neutral zone before Monday's stage after getting a water bottle caught in his front wheel. Racing with his Ineos Grenadiers uniform ripped in several places, the Welsh rider lost more than 12 minutes in the challenging stage, which finished atop the Mount Etna volcano.

Before Monday's stage, Thomas was third overall, the best placed of the overall favorites after a strong time trial in the opening leg. By the end of the day he was in 53rd place, more than 11 minutes behind Portuguese leader Joao Almeida.

It's been a difficult year for Thomas, who was dropped from Ineos' Tour team.

Thomas also had bad luck in his previous Giro appearance three years ago, withdrawing after he was injured in a crash involving a police motorbike.