Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Sky) narrowly missed out on victory on stage three of Bayern Rundfahrt, Germany, after being beaten to the line by Michael Albasini (HTC-Highroad).

Thomas and Albasini had been part of an eight-rider escape group that contested the sprint for the stage win. Wesley Sulzberger (Francaise des Jeux) came home in third.

The finish was reminiscent of Thomas’s second place at Dwars Door Vlaanderen in March, when Nick Nuyens pipped the British road race champ to take the win. Coincidentally, both Albasini and Nuyens are winners of the Tour of Britain – in 2010 and 2005 respectively.

Swiss rider Albasini takes the overall race lead from Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), with Thomas now in second spot overall. Saturday’s stage is a decisive 26km time trial, which on paper should play into Thomas’s hands. The five-day UCI 2.HC-ranked race concludes on Sunday, May 29.

Of those he finished with today, Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) is possibly the biggest threat to Thomas. Malori was second in the Bayern Rundfahrt TT in 2010 and won the European and World U23 TT titles in 2008.

Results
Bayern Rundfahrt 2011, stage three: Bad Gögging to Aichach
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Highroad

2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
3. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Francaise des Jeux
4. Biel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
5. Nicki Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Sungard all same time

Overall classification after stage three
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Highroad

2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 7 secs
3. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Francaise des Jeux at 7 secs
4. Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Skil-Shimano at 12 secs
5. Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin-Cervelo at 12 secs

Related links

Thomas second in Dwars Door Vlaanderen