Thomas maintains Alps lead

20 Apr 2017

Thomas maintains Alps lead

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A fantastic team effort helped Geraint Thomas maintain his overall lead at the Tour of the Alps ahead of the final stage.

Despite a long range break threatening to take the spoils, hard work from all members of Team Sky ensured stage four came down to an elite bunch sprint which saw Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r Mondiale) best Thibault Pinot (FDJ) and Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) on the line.

With Thomas finishing just outside the top 10, Pinot’s second place granted him bonus seconds that moved him up to second overall and reduced the Welshman’s advantage to just 13 seconds going into Friday’s final test.

The initial threat came from a five-man break that saw Kilian Frankiny (BMC Racing), Davide Vilella (Cannondale-Drapac), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Simone Andreetta and Stefano Pirazzi (both Bardiani) create a significant gap which extended to over four minutes at its height.

However, the peloton started to dramatically reduce their advantage as the Forcella di Brez ascent took hold with around 35km to go and only Frankinky and Pirazzi remained in front.

Hubert DuPont (Ag2r), a threat to Thomas in terms of general classification, pursued the duo on his own and there was a danger when he bridged the gap to Frankinky & Pirazzi with 5km to go.

However, the effort to reach the front two sapped Dupont’s strength and the newly-formed trio were caught with 1km to go by the Team Sky-led bunch which setup a sprint finish. 
Once again Thomas was in the leader's jersey with one stage remaining. PIC: Tour of the Alps

Once again Thomas was in the leader's jersey with one stage remaining. PIC: Tour of the Alps

Dario Cioni

Dario Cioni

It will be another hard day and obviously there will be challenges
Sport Director Dario Cioni was delighted with the team’s performance and believed that tactically they dealt with the breakaway well.  

“We had to make some choices and the fact that DuPont went solo, instead of in a group meant that we could be ok,” he told TeamSky.com

“And we were able to keep a reasonable distance so tactically the distance remaining would be manageable for us to catch him.”

With one day to go, Cioni is prepared for another tough stage as Thomas looks to seal the race victory.

He added: “It will be another hard day and obviously there will be challenges.

“And we are pretty confident that with both G and Mikel at good levels we can cover any attacks.

“We could be in a different tactical situation, but I think everyone is doing a great job.” 
Stage four result:

1. Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 4:56:38
2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) s.t.
3. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) s.t.
4. Luis Sanchez (Astana) s.t.
5. Jose Mendes (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t
12. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) s.t.

Overall standings: 

1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 15:36:40
2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +13” 
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +16"
4. Michele Scarponi (Astana) +21" 
5. Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac) +31"
6. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) +36"

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