Geraint Thomas wins Tour of Algarve


Geraint Thomas clinched back-to-back overall victories at the Volta ao Algarve with fifth place on the queen stage.

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Geraint Thomas wins Tour of Algarve



The five-day event came down to the final climb and the famed ascent of the Alto do Malhao. As the attacks started firing, Thomas stayed firmly in the mix to mark his rivals and secure another yellow jersey.

Crossing the line 28 seconds behind stage winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), the Welshman enjoyed support from his team-mates throughout the day to seal a third Algarve title for Team Sky. After pressure from Team Sky and Movistar up front, overnight leader Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) lost contact with the peloton first time over the Alto do Malhao and slipped out of the GC picture heading into the finale.

With his three-second deficit over-turned, Thomas rode intelligently as Contador led home Fabio Aru (Astana) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) by 20 seconds. Lars-Petter Nordhaug was the next Team Sky rider home, 20th over the line. Thomas topped the Portuguese podium by 19 seconds over Jon Izagirre (Movistar) and a further seven over a resurgent Contador.



After the stage Thomas admitted he was riding with his head on the final climb as attacks fired off around him. “Once Tony Martin got dropped first time up the climb the stage was all about defending that lead,” he told “Izagirre was the biggest threat after that and I just didn’t get carried away when Contador and Rigo (Uran) attacked. I just followed Izagirre all the way until well into the last kilometre. I had a little dig myself but I kind of knew I had it by then.”

“The worst thing that could happen was to follow Contador, blow up and then maybe lose the race overall. It was just about playing it safe and finishing the job off. I knew the climb from last year and we do it twice in the race. So I knew the effort it involved and I just didn’t want to get carried away and go into the red until necessary. It’s been a big team effort and all week the boys have been great and supporting me all the way through.”

Replicating his victory of 12 months ago, Thomas will hope to build on that momentum as he heads into a key portion of his season. “It’s always nice to be on the podium and get a win,” he added. “I don’t get to do it very often so I certainly enjoy that. It’s definitely a good confidence booster now going into the last big block of training. I’ve got a big block of racing then with three big stage races and then three big one-days as well. Hopefully I can take something out of all that.”



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