Geraint Thomas kept level-headed at the end of stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia, as he officially pulled on the pink jersey in Viareggio, explaining that he was not taking anything for granted.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider had inherited the virtual race lead in dramatic circumstances on Sunday evening. Thomas was handed the maglia rosa ahead of stage 10 after Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) had been pulled from the race by his team due to a positive Covid test.
Speaking after officially receiving the leader's jersey on the podium on Tuesday, Thomas appeared relieved to have ticked off another day at the Italian Grand Tour - which was won by EF Education EasyPost’s Magnus Cort - particularly after the rain had hammered down for much of the day’s racing.
“The weather could have been a bit better, but it was nice,” Thomas said. “[The pink jersey] definitely helped get through a pretty rubbish day weather wise… the boys were good and it was all under control in the end. I managed to enjoy the stage as much as I could.”
Thomas acknowledged that driving wind, rain and freezing temperatures have all played a big part in the action so far.
“It was obviously not ideal conditions to be wearing the jersey for the first time but it was a solid day,” Thomas said. “Attacking at the start for the breakaway, [it was] pretty cold at the top… bit of a crazy descent, then the guys were trying to bring the break back for the final.”
“There was a lot going on, a solid day, but I was happy to get through it.”
Stage 10 saw the Giro pass through roads the Welshman knew well, after spending time in the Tuscany region when he was a part of the GB Academy setup.
“When I was in the academy we were in Tuscany and I rented a place there during the first couple of years when I was a professional,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on the beach down here where we finished the stage… so to be wearing such an iconic jersey was an honour today.”
Going into stage 11, the Ineos man holds an advantage of just two seconds over Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič in second place. Friday's Stage 13 to Crans Montana in the Swiss Alps is expected to provide the next stage for the general classification battle to light up.
Despite the mountains drawing ever nearer and Roglič breathing down his neck, Thomas explained that he wouldn’t be looking too far ahead and would simply try to enjoy every moment spent in the pink jersey
“I’m not taking anything for granted in this race, a lot can happen, especially with the weather and stuff. We’ll see – take it day by day. Every day I’m in it [the maglia rosa] will be very nice.”
The Giro continues tomorrow on what’s set to be the 2023 edition's longest stage, a 219 kilometre hilly route between Camaiore and Tortona.
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