Despite losing time after being caught behind a crash on stage three and eventually distanced after spending his energy on the offensive on the slopes to the summit finish of stage four, Geraint Thomas is happy with where he’s at in Tirreno-Adriatico as he works towards the Tour de France this summer.
“I’m better than I expected [I would be] here,” the Ineos Grenadiers rider said after the stage, having come in a minute behind new race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and now sitting 1-25 in 10th spot in the overall classification.
“In January I was just sort of riding around Gran Canaria, getting the hours in, not too much intensity, so I’ve already moved on a lot this past month and it’s nice just to be in the mix and just race a bit differently.”
After Bernal had tried to jump off the front in the closing kilometres, the Welshman hit out, then jumping onto Pogačar’s wheel for a few minutes before the Slovenian soloed away to victory.
“I didn’t want to pull on the front, I thought Egan was better today, so I thought rather than pull on the front I’d attack and make Van Aert or whoever chase me. Unfortunately, Egan didn’t quite have the legs, but for me, I’m happy with where I’m at, on track for July really.
“Bonus was finishing in time for the second half of the Wales rugby game.”
It was a good day out in Italy for Britain, though, as back home the sport reels from the Dr Richard Freeman guilty verdict, with Simon Yates (BikeExchange) finishing second on the stage, unable to close down Pogačar despite his best efforts.
Meanwhile, EF Education-Nippo’s Simon Carr continues to impress, finishing eighth on the stage and moving up to the same place in the overall classification, only a minute down on Pogačar.