Geraint Thomas pleased to take second place in Giro stage one
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Geraint Thomas pleased to take second place in Giro stage one

by Kyle Moore at 6:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Sky Procycling rider bested only by Phinney, now turns attention to helping Cavendish

Geraint ThomasOn a windy and technical time trial course around Herning in Denmark, Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling) blazed initially to a new best time on the 8.7-kilometer course. While his mark was soon topped by eventual stage winner Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing), the Welshman was pleased with the result to begin the Giro d’Italia.

Thomas, who spent most of his spring season with a singular focus on the World Championships on the track, used the form he built there to come back and win the prologue in the Tour de Romandie last month. Given his win in Switzerland plus his gold medal in the team pursuit, Thomas entered the first stage of the Giro as a primary favourite, along with Phinney.

Neither of the featured men would disappoint. After Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin Barracuda) held the best mark for much of the day, Italian upstart Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank) finally came through with a time seven seconds quicker.

But with many of the featured time trialists on course, it wasn’t long at all before Thomas came though with six seconds in hand over Boaro. And starting two spots after Thomas, Phinney flew through minutes later, taking his winning nine-second margin over the Team Sky rider.

For Thomas, it was all about taking his recent work on the track and in Romandie into account, and judging his efforts accordingly.

“I think I measured it pretty well,” Thomas said of his ride on the team’s website. “I tried to carry my speed through the corners – [on] one or two I could have gone a bit faster, but losing by nine seconds I can’t blame it on a couple of corners. Coming from the track, there’s a temptation to try and sprint fast out of those corners but that would obviously take a lot out of me so it was all about judging it correctly, which I think I did.”

On a relatively difficult course, riders chose different points to go full gas. On the day, Thomas was the quickest to the intermediate time check, though he was pleased with how he parceled his efforts.

“I definitely tried to keep a bit back for the last three kilometers and that headwind and I just emptied the tank all the way to the line,” he continued. “It didn’t feel amazing but I was obviously going okay and am happy to have been up there.

“It’s tough - obviously the prologue in Romandie was perfect for me coming from the track but I’d also only been back from Australia a couple of weeks so it was nice to get the win there. There are now another 20 stages to go and at the end of the day it’s about the bigger picture – I’ll be there in the sprints for [Mark Cavendish] and then hopefully finish this race well which will set me up nicely for the Olympics.”

As his focus has been on the track, rather than on making progress in hillier road races, Thomas stressed that his primary focus would be on helping the team in the flat stages of the first week. But a solo flyer on a more difficult finish should not be ruled out, as the Welshman stressed aggressiveness as his Sky Procycling team aims for success in the fast finishes, boasting some of the best weapons for exactly that.

“For me personally I just want to take the chances to race hard when I can and these next few days are perfect for that,” said Thomas. “As soon as we start hitting the climbs I’m not going to be able to be up near the front, given all the track work I’ve done, so I’m just really looking forward to the next week and we’ll see what we can do with Cav.”


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