Geraint Thomas was annoyed by the sprinters in the seventeenth stage of the Giro d'Italia. As the pink jersey rider, Thomas had to position himself at the front of the peloton in the finale to avoid losing time, which caused the INEOS Grenadiers team leader considerable stress.
"It wasn't the most pleasant day, at least not in terms of the final fifteen kilometers," Thomas tells Eurosport. "At seven kilometers from the finish, I said to my teammates, 'Let's get out of this bloodbath and find some space.' Salvatore Puccio did a great job, and then I let myself drop back at three kilometers. To be honest, I feared for my life," says Thomas.
"Those sprinters are just crazy. They're everywhere, and you have no idea what they're going to do next. And then there are those lead-outs who drop back through the middle. I'm just glad I came out of it unscathed," Thomas breathes a sigh of relief.
Thomas: "We need to leverage our strength as a team"
On Thursday, the peloton will head back into the mountains, and the battle for the pink jersey will continue. "It will be an important day - or rather, three important days. Hopefully, we can finish this Giro off on a high note," says Thomas, who will be celebrating his 37th birthday on Thursday.
What does Thomas expect from the competition? "It's up to them to try and regain time," Thomas refers to Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates. "Maybe they will try something. We need to leverage our strength as a team, stay together, and ride as a unit. That's what we've been doing throughout this entire Giro, and we need to continue," concludes Thomas.
"Because of my experience, I have the confidence and belief that I can win."
During the press conference, Thomas elaborated on his expectations for the upcoming three stages. "Both Roglic and Almeida are very dangerous. They are both excellent time trialists. To be honest, I fear both of them."
"The stage on Friday looks like the queen stage to me," Thomas says, referring to the stage that includes Passo Giau (9.8 km at 9.3 percent) and finishes at Tre Cime di Lavaredo at an altitude of 2,300 meters. "Because of my experience, I have the confidence and belief that I can win. I won't let myself be thrown off balance," Thomas concludes.
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