Almeida takes stage, Thomas retakes Giro pink jersey

//Almeida takes stage, Thomas retakes Giro pink jersey

Almeida takes stage, Thomas retakes Giro pink jersey

The diesel was faster than the sports car.

36 year old Geraint Thomas warmed up the big engine for the final attack on the final Monte Bondone climb. It’s his birthday this week but by all appearances the diesel is still humming along just fine.

Jumbo Visma tried to wear out Thomas and his Ineos Grenadiers but seemed to only succeed in burning through their support riders too soon. Once all the yellow jerseys were gone, UAE Team Emirates took over with the punishment.

It was Brandon McNulty and especially Jay Vine who broken apart the maglia rosa group on the upper slopes of the Bondone. Thomas was isolated in a small group with João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), Primoz Roglic and key domestic Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma) and Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AlUla).

Everyone was waiting for Rolic to attack but instead it was Almeida who launched forward. Kuss minimized that damage but then at 4.5 kilometers to the summit Thomas shot around Roglic and joined forces with the Portuguese rider. It was off to the races and a pink jersey.

The duo pushed out a 15 second gap that jumped to 30 seconds as Rogic struggled to limit his losses. Had Sepp Kuss not been there to pace and rescue him, the damage could have been far worse.

Thomas looked as smooth and powerful as he did five years ago in winning the Tour de France. He led Almeida for the majority of the time, with the UAE captain chipping in once for twice before he out-sprinted Thomas for the stage win. Nobody said the old diesel had the same top end acceleration.

In the aftermath, it became clear that Roglic was still suffering from his two crashed in this Giro. He’s there, he’s top three but unless he gets that last 5% of his power back, Thomas will be in control with Almeida as the main rival.

It would be silly to count out Rogic just yet — he’s only 29 seconds back on Thomas and 11 seconds from Almeida. There are still two mountain stages and an uphill time trial. Let’s hope his powers of recovery will allow him an opportunity to contest the overall victory.

But right now the old diesel is running in top form and cruising up the mountains. For Thomas, it’s just the ride he enjoys best.





By |2023-05-23T11:56:26-07:00May 23rd, 2023|Featured|0 Comments

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