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Geraint Thomas: 'It’s one thing in a week-long race, it’s another thing completely at a Grand Tour'

Josh Cunningham
19 Apr 2017

Team Sky rider wins stage three of the Tour of the Alps with blistering final kilometre attack, but remains grounded ahead of the Giro

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) showed some impressive form by winning stage three of the Tour of the Alps, which bodes well for the Welshman ahead of the Giro d'Italia next month, where he is due to lead the team along with Mikel Landa. 

The duo in fact finished first and second on the stage; Landa having been up the road with Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) before Thomas attacked out of the group behind and rode past the two to take the win. 

As a result of the time gaps and bonus seconds, the Welshman now finds himself as the new race leader, 16 seconds up on Pozzovivo and 19 ahead of Thibaut Pinot of FDJ, with Landa in 6th at 36 seconds.

'I felt good on the climb and I said to Landa – "just go and make the others chase",' said Thomas after the stage. 'I could just follow everyone else and it worked perfectly. After (Michele) Scarponi went and (Davide) Formolo [attacked] it became quite hard so I thought I’d have a go. I went full gas.'

'I didn’t really expect to but I got across to them, took a few deep breaths, counted to five and just went again. Luckily I had the legs to stay away.'

After years of supporting Chris Froome at the Tour de France, while also picking up two top 15 finishes in the process, the 2017 Giro will mark Thomas' first attempt at leading a team and targetting a Grand Tour specifically.

Thomas has already showed signs of strength this year by taking a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico with a similarly late attack, but this was followed by a disappointing performance at the Volta a Catalunya in late March. But while bouncing back today with a stage win at the Tour of the Alps (formerly Giro del Trentino) will surely reignite some motivation, especially as some of the riders he distanced will be going to the Giro as team leaders, Thomas is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground. 

'It’s one thing in a week-long race, it’s another thing completely at a Grand Tour,' he said after the stage. 'It’s completely unknown for me. The likes of (Vincenzo) Nibali, (Nairo) Quintana, (Thinaut) Pinot and other guys have all been on the podium in Grand Tours.' 

'It shows all the work I’ve been doing and the dedication is finally paying off,' Thomas added of his win today. 'I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest after this race and going to the Giro fresh mentally and physically, and trying to do what I can.'