Another day, another hit-out. As he and teammate Ben Swift warmed down outside the Sky bus after stage 3 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, current Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas said he was satisfied after his third – and hardest – day of racing in 2019.
Thomas lost 11 seconds to the front group of 29 riders on a nasty combination of two category 3 climbs in the hills of western Valencia and a technical, twisting, narrow finish into the tiny town of Chera. The bunch stretched into a near single file and then split almost of its own volition when there was a small crash, putting Thomas in the second group but still upbeat overall.
“It was a tough one,” he told Cyclingnews, “progressively harder all day, as it normally is, and the last two climbs were hard. Swifty [Ben Swift, seventh on stage – ed.] and the boys were riding well and I was just trying to stay with them basically.
“That last climb, I was pretty much pinned where I was but I think a lot of people were like that. It was only a few people who could do anything.
“It was good, [Salvatore] Puccio had a little dig [on the last climb – ed.] and we got Swifty third into the last corner well but his legs just went in the last 100 metres. But it was a good hit-out, just what I need.
“There was a little crash, and a little split and I was behind. But if I lose ten seconds, I lose ten seconds.
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