Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) completed the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana looking forward to the next phase of his season, having got through a race he described as “a good kick up the arse to go on to the next level of training”.
On the toughest stage – stage 4 – with more than 3,300 metres of vertical climbing and finishing on the ascent to Santa Lucia hermitage, Thomas eased up when he hit the foot of the final climb. He then finished stage 5 safely, after doing a long turn on the front with five kilometres to go prior to a fast, small-bunch sprint stage won by Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).
Although held up by a big crash in the final kilometre, which saw his teammate Chris Lawless slightly injured, Thomas was unaffected, easing across the line a few minutes after the bunch-sprint finish. With no time gaps due to the the crash having been in the last three kilometres, the Welshman finished 44th overall.
“Yesterday [stage 4] was… I was kind of just getting around. Really, there was nothing much for me to do for the boys, either, so it was a case of, ‘get to the final climb and see how you are.’ I was pretty hungry, actually. I’m a little bit heavy, so I’m watching what I eat a little a bit,” Thomas told Cyclingnews before the final stage.
“But it’s been a really good week, with hard racing, so definitely just what I needed, and a really good kickstart to the year.
“It gives you that kick up the arse to go up to the next level for training, but more for the diet and rest,” he continued. “I’ve trained well in the last six weeks but I’ve just been busy, since the Tour, really, and I haven’t rested. Now it’s turned to being 100 per cent about training and racing.”
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