Geraint Thomas Grateful To Peleton Respect After Crash At Giro

Geraint Thomas Giro d’Italia. Pic: Getty Images

Geraint Thomas Grateful To Peleton Respect After Crash At Giro

sportswales

By Gareth James

A late crash gave Geraint Thomas a scare in his bid for a place on the overall podium at the Giro d’Italia.

Andrea Vendrame soloed to victory from a breakaway on stage 19 of the race in Sappada after Thomas hit the tarmac.

Vendrame triumphed out of a 19-man breakaway on the 157km stage from Mortegliano as the main favourites pedalled home 16 minutes later.

Their goal had been to have a quiet day ahead of Saturday’s double assault of the Monte Grappa and the final battle for general classification places but Thomas had a moment’s panic when he touched wheels with Antonio Tiberi and hit the deck six kilometres from the finish.

The Welshman needed a quick bike change but race leader Tadej Pogacar and the other top contenders had knocked off the pace and waited for Thomas to recover, ensuring he did not lose his hold on third place overall.

Pogacar said on Eurosport: “I think it showed that everyone has respect. Nobody in the group wanted to pass Thomas in that kind of way.

“I hope he’s OK after the crash. After all the control, it’s a stupid moment, I hope he’s OK and we can have a great show tomorrow.”

Thomas later confirmed he was unharmed and added: “It was lucky really. I just bounced straight back up and got back really quick.

“It was a stupid crash really. I was looking behind and the guys in front moved over.”

Pogacar continues to lead by seven minutes 42 seconds from Dani Martinez, with Thomas a further 22 seconds back in third – still with a one-minute 43-second cushion over Ben O’Connor in fourth.

Vendrame rode clear of his fellow escapees on the final descent of the day a little under 30km from home, and quickly opened up a lead of around a minute on the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Georg Steinhauser and Pelayo Sanchez.

Steinhauser and Sanchez both tried to close the gap on the climb up to Sappada, but could make no impression on his advantage before dropping back as Vendrame secured his second career Giro stage win, 54 seconds ahead of Sanchez.

“I had been aiming for this stage since the start of the Giro,” Vendrame said.

“It was important to get into the day’s breakaway, and I tried to save energies the whole day. I attacked on the descent, taking a risk, saw that I had a good lead and kept pushing. It’s a special emotion because I won close to my home”.

Read more about Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas Stays Second As Giro Rolls On

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