WELSH TOUR de France winner Geraint Thomas has hit out at the rough roads in this year's Giro d’Italia after surviving a potentially race-ending crash to finish Sunday's Stage 9 in third overall.

The 37-year-old, who owns the St Tewdric’s wedding venue near Chepstow, said the road surface leading in to the Naples finish was pockmarked with holes and "definitely not safe".

And he added: "We're just clowns in the circus sometimes."

The Ineos Grenadiers rider had to make up a minute to get back to the peloton after being involved in the crash with 57km to go.

And then the state of the roads and tight chicanes to the finish left the 2018 Tour winner, who placed second in last year's Giro, less than impressed.

"Schachmann (Max) just slipped in the roundabout or something and was just in front of me," Thomas said of the crash.

"I managed to scrub off a bit of speed, but obviously, you don't want to brake too hard if he's crashed because of it.

"But, no, it was okay – just flipped over the bars, but all good. The boys were straight around me and back in the group pretty quick.

"It's pretty scary when you've got guys desperate and bouncing, diving underneath you and all this and that, and then you've got massive holes everywhere.

"I’m going on a lot about safety... and that's definitely not safe. But just clowns in the circus aren't we, sometimes?"

Two-time Tour winner Tadeg Pogacar was the runaway leader ahead of today’s Stage 11, two minutes 40 seconds ahead of Dani Martinez, with Geraint 18 seconds further back in third.