Tour of the Alps: Thomas wins on GC

Third on the final stage was enough for race leader Geraint Thomas to win the Tour of the Alps stage race

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Tour of the Alps: Thomas wins on GC

The final day of racing at Tour of the Alps was also the longest. A fast start to stage 5 saw riders battling to get into the breakaway. It wasn’t until the peloton had covered almost 30km, of the 192.5km course, that a nine-rider group escaped.

The successful breakaway soon began to establish a solid lead over the peloton, and as they approached the bottom of the first categorized climb, Passo Durone, their lead had extended to over five minutes. As the kilometers passed by, the gap between the peloton and the breakaway remained steady at 5’30”. However with 80km to go and the day’s second categorized climb, Monte Bondone, on the horizon, the chase from the peloton began to heat up.

Eventually, attacks from a reduced bunch behind saw the break brought back into the fold with less than 50km remaining. Riders were immediately scattered across the road as the main General Classification contenders tried to get the measure of one another. But, as they neared the summit of the climb, a group of fifteen riders, was sitting at the head of the race.
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At the end of a long, fast & technical descent and with only 20km to go, it was clear that the stage win would be contested from this leading group of riders. Inside the final 10km, riders began to attack before the top four riders on the General Classification went clear; Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) and Michele Scarponi (Astana Team).

With only meters to go, Pinot launched his sprint with Bookwalter gritting his teeth and holding onto Pinot’s wheel before taking an incredibly close second place on the line and BMC Racing Team’s third podium finish of the week.

Third was Welsh rider Geraint Thomas who won the event overall.

Geraint Thomas: “It’s good that we managed to finish it off today, in spite of Boswell’s nasty crash at the start. The right breakaway went away, and we could ride on Gazprom-Rusvelo’s wheels until the foot of the Monte Bondone. The other teams piled on the pressure on the climb with plenty of attacks, but my decision was to try to control Pinot, that was arguably the most dangerous rival. After the climb, Landa just led us all the way to the finish. Taking the race and managing to defend a lead for two days was certainly a morale boost and a good indication for the Giro, but a three-week race is an all together different story.”

Brent Bookwalter: “It was a really technical finish today, and we had some great information relayed to us from the team who had gone ahead to Trento. So, we knew there were cobbles and that the last corners were going to be tight, but we didn’t know exactly. From that, we could tell that positioning was going to be really important, and in the end, I was close but just not close enough.”

“I went into that last corner telling myself I needed to be in first or second position and I did that, but I had to go on the inside and just lost a little speed against Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) who is also quick on a finish like that.”

“Today was a really big mountain stage. The stages here have just been getting harder and harder and today was a long day with a lot of climbing, and I was suffering for a while. I definitely wouldn’t have been in that front group if it hadn’t have been for Joey Rosskopf and especially Rohan Dennis.”

“When Joey got caught, he did a great job pacing me back, and Rohan backed off to help pull me over the top and rode for me the rest of the way. It was really an honor and privilege to have the team throw their support behind me, and I am grateful for the opportunity. It was just a shame that I couldn’t get the big prize at the end. But, I am proud of our effort. For me to be up there with that caliber of riders at the finish is a good sign and a testament to the work I have been doing.”

Final Stage
1. Thibaut Pinot, FDJ
2. Brent Bookwalter, BMC Racing Team
3. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky
4. Domenico Pozzovivo, AG2R La Mondiale
5. Pierre Rolland, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 0:02
6. Michele Scarponi, Astana Pro Team
7. Egan Arley Bernal, Androni Giocattoli
8. Danilo Celano, Italy
9. Mikel Landa, Team Sky
10. Emanuel Buchmann, Bora – Hansgrohe

20. Hugh Carthy Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 1.55

1. Geraint Thomas Team Sky
2. Thibaut Pinot FDJ 0:07
3. Domenico Pozzovivo AG2R La Mondiale 00:20
4. Michele Scarponi Astana Pro Team 0:27
5. Mikel Landa Team Sky 00:42
6. Pierre Rolland Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Tea 00:52
7. Emanuel Buchmann Bora – Hansgrohe 50:54
8. Danilo CelanoItaly
9. Egan Bernal Androni Giocattoli 1:02
10. Rodolfo Andres Torres Androni Giocattoli 1:16

14. Hugh Carthy Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 2:38



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