Thomas second at Tour of the Alps

17 Apr 2017

Thomas second at Tour of the Alps

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Geraint Thomas narrowly finished second on the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps after a gruelling summit sprint finish.

Thomas lost out to Michele Scarponi (Astana) on the final climb at Innsbruck after attacking in the closing kilometre to split the peloton, only for a small group to track his move, before the Italian edged him in a last-gasp sprint to the line.

The pair were part of an elite group also containing Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) Thibault Pinot (FDJ) and Domenico Pozzovivo who traded cat-and-mouse attacks and counters before Scarponi was able to pip Thomas on the line.

Thomas now lies second in the general classification, four seconds behind Scarponi, who carries a small advantage into stage two thanks to a time bonus awarded for winning the stage.

Earlier, a break containing Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli) Matthias Krizek (Tirol Cycling Team) and Iuri Filosi (Nippo-Vini Fantini) led for the majority of the race, until excellent work from Ian Boswell, Pete Kennaugh and Phil Deignan at the front of the peloton helped bring the breakaway to heel.

Their fate as a trio was sealed when Krizek suffered a mechanical issue and as the pace continued to pick up, the remaining pair were finally caught in time for the final ascent into Innsbruck, which was led by Kenny Elissonde and setup Thomas’ attack. 
Dario Cioni

Dario Cioni

G has confirmed he is one of the strongest riders in the race so we must be happy
Sport Director Dario Cioni reckoned it is always to be positive about second place, but the result positions Thomas well overall.

He told TeamSky.com: “You can never say you are totally happy with the stage when you come second, but when you look overall at the race it was good.

“G has confirmed he is one of the strongest riders in the race so we must be happy. With bonus seconds it is always good to get on the podium and add extra seconds on your rivals.”

Despite only having six riders for the race, Cioni was quick to praise the efforts of the team and believes it was a good all-round display.

“The team operated very well and the six riders were fully committed,” he added. 

“We were happy to oversee other team’s moves in the opening half of the race and when G looked like he was going to commit to the stage we took control.

“Technically it was good to be at the top going into the last climb and the team did well.”
General Classification
1.
Michele Scarponi (Astana) 3:32:15
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +4" 
3. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +6” 
4. Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac) +10" 
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) +10”

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