Thomas wins Critérium du Dauphiné

10 Jun 2018

Thomas wins Critérium du Dauphiné

Geraint Thomas recovered from a couple of setbacks on the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine to finish fifth and win the race overall.

Thomas suffered two punctures in the second half of the 136km stage from Moutiers to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, but received excellent support from his teammates to regain position each time.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) secured the stage victory with a late drive to the line in the closing metres of the summit finish, though he was unable to turn around the deficit to Thomas and finished second overall, with Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) taking the final place on the podium.

Thomas' win was Team Sky's sixth in the race and following the stage, and the Welshman was still struggling to come to terms with his achievement, beaming: “It’s incredible, it hasn’t sunk in yet!"
Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

The guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me."
He added: “I was always thinking of the next stage, the next climb and it’s an amazing feeling [to win] and I think it will really start to sink in tonight. It’s a massive race and it’s an incredible feeling.

“The puncture didn’t really help and having to chase back on, but the guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me and I had the legs to get back.”

“I was just counting down the kilometres on the last climb and knew I had about 1’20” to lose on [Adam] Yates so as each kilometre went by I was more confident and happy [with each passing kilometre]. When they started sprinting with 300m to go I was like, it’s done - finally.”

“I’m just going to enjoy this win now, rest up and recover and look forward to July."
Tao Geoghegan Hart was a key part of Thomas' success

Tao Geoghegan Hart was a key part of Thomas' success

Earlier, a fast start to another short stage had prevented any breakaways forming until a small group managed to escape with 28 kilometres gone containing Dani Navarro (Cofidis), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Pierre Rolland (EF) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step).

Team Sky helped lead the chase in the peloton with Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle driving the main bunch and ensuring that the breakaway did not gain too much time and this pace started to reel the escapees back in.

Thomas suffered his first flat tyre ahead of the Col des Saisies, but was quickly able to recover and regain his position in the peloton before he punctured again with 41km to go and had to chase back to the AG2R-La Mondiale-led peloton.

This time Van Baarle and Kwiatkowski were on hand to pace him back to the rest of the team who were able to guide the race leader back to the main bunch.
It was on the final ascent to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc that the GC group dwindled, with Tao Geoghegan Hart again playing a pivotal role in both protecting Thomas from attacks and pacing the climb.

With three kilometres remaining he finally peeled off as a number of the favourites attacked but had their advances nullified until the final 300 metres which saw Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Yates escape, but it was too little, too late and Thomas secured the overall victory by one minute. 

With the ever-consistent Geoghegan Hart in the upper reaches of the general classification and several strong finishes on the mountain stages from Jonathan Castroviejo, Team Sky also topped the team classification to round off a successful week in France.

Final standings

1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 24:43:12
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +1’00”
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) +1’47”
4. Dan Martin (UAE Emirates) +2’35”
5. Damiano Caruso (BMC) +2’44”

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