"Everybody showed great respect" - Tadej Pogacar helps ensure Maglia Rosa group wait for Geraint Thomas after late crash on stage 19 of Giro

19 stages down, just two to go now for UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar at the 2024 Giro d'Italia. With stage 19 a relatively calm day for the general classification riders, the Maglia Rosa remains firmly locked on the shoulders of the Slovenian.

There was one moment of drama in the Maglia Rosa group as they took on the final climb of the day however. With attacks by Einer Rubio and Romain Bardet raising the tension levels in the group, Geraint Thomas momentarily lost concentration and clipped the back wheel of Antonio Tiberi, bringing the INEOS Grenadiers leader to the ground. Pogacar had a close view of the incident, so close in fact that he was forced into evasive action to avoid a crash himself.

"I was just going to the back of the group and then suddenly, Geraint came down. I almost didn't see it and Daniel Martinez bumped me so yeah, it was a difficult moment to avoid," the Maglia Rosa recalls in his post-stage interview, even explaining how post-crash, the rest of the general classification hopefuls waited for the former Tour de France winner to return to the group.

"I hope Thomas is okay and everybody showed great respect to each other today. I think it's a good thing that everybody calmed down at this point and then we rolled into the finish," Pogacar concludes his recap before turning his attention to stage 20, a day which he has previously made a very public target of his for the stage win.

"We'll see. Today we saved some energy for tomorrow and let's hope that we have good legs," Pogacar previews of the final day of general classification fighting, with plenty of climbing and not too distant from the Slovenian border. "That is a good stage for us but we'll see."

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