Welshman Geraint Thomas takes Volta ao Algarve race lead after stage victory. Photos by Graham Watson

Geraint Thomas (Sky) took a fine solo win at the end of stage two of the 2015 Volta ao Algarve on Thursday.

Thomas attacked on the final climb of the hilly 197-kilometre stage from Lagoa to Monchiqu, finishing ahead of a trio of Astana riders headed up by Rein Taaramae, and Valerio Agnoli in third.

It’s the 28-year-old Welshman’s first win of the season, and his first since the Commonwealth Games road race last August.

Thomas’s victory in Portugal means that he now moves into the overall race lead, 30 seconds ahead of Taaramae.

>>> Geraint Thomas, Ben Swift and Andy Fenn in Tour of the Algarve

Thomas’s win goes one better than fellow Brit and Sky team-mate Ben Swift, who came in as runner-up behind stage one winner Gianni Meersman (Etixx-QuickStep) on Wednesday.

Thomas is using the race to fine-tune his form ahead of the 2015 Spring Classics season, where he will again be an important part of Sky’s Classics squad. Last year, Thomas placed seventh in Paris-Roubaix, eighth in the Tour of Flanders and second in the E3 Harelbeke.

The Volta ao Algarve continues on Friday with a key 19-kilometre time trial, which could suit Thomas’s talents. He won last year’s Bayern Rundfahrt overall after winning that race’s 25km individual time trial stage.

Volta ao Algarve 2015, stage two: Lagoa to Monchique, 197km
1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky
2. Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana at 19 secs
3. Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana at 23 secs
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep
6. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx-QuickStep
7. Alberto Losada (Spa) Katusha
8. Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha
9. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky
10. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky at same time

Overall classification after stage two
1. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky
2. Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana at 30 secs
3. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx-QuickStep at 33 secs
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep at 33 secs
5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 33 secs

Volta ao Algarve - Stage 2

Thomas leads Team Sky on stage two of the Volta ao Algarve

World Champion, Michal Kwiatkowski in action during Stage 2 of the 2015 Volta ao Algarve

World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski sits fourth overall after stage two

Geraint Thomas is congratulated by teammate Salvatore Puccio after winning Stage 2 of the 2015 Volta ao Algarve

Thomas is congratulated by teammate Salvatore Puccio

Geraint Thomas on the podium after winning Stage 2 of the 2015 Volta ao Algarve

Thomas on the podium. He leads the race going into Friday’s time trial

  • Mark Jones

    A good win for G and here’s hoping this is the year that he transforms from being unfortunate with injuries and always riding for others, to being a genuine contender in stage races and classics.