"G was more than happy to sacrifice himself" - INEOS Grenadiers praise Geraint Thomas' selfless riding in service of Tobias Foss at Tour of the Alps

Although INEOS Grenadiers lost the overall race lead of Tobias Foss on stage 3 at the Tour of the Alps, the team ignited the day with some attacking tactics and post-stage, remain relatively optimistic.

“Teams should be prepared that we’re willing to race creatively and that’s what we did today,” INEOS Grenadiers sports director, Zak Dempster reflected post-stage to Cycling News having sent Filippo Ganna up ahead on a one-man breakaway for much of the day. “In the end, two guys skipped away and we probably missed a guy to fully execute the plan but you know… we’re not here to make everyone lunch.”

Those guys Dempster mentioned, Giulio Pellizzari and stage winner Juan Pedro Lopez held on for victory, with Lopez even moving into the overall lead of the race ahead of Tobias Foss. In a double blow for INEOS Geraint Thomas is now out of GC contention, having sacrificed himself in service of Foss.

“I think G gave him (Foss) a good hand on the flat there, we missed one guy to control the group but at the end of the day, López and Pellazzari were super strong, chapeau to them,” said the INEOS DS, praising the former Tour de France winner's selflessness. “I think Thomas was suffering a bit in the cold like everyone but then realistically with only him in that group of 20, we had a decision to make and they kind of took it themselves. Tobias said ‘I’m good’ and G was more than happy to sacrifice himself. I hope he kept on the pedals now, he’s not close on GC but it's important he gets the efforts in every day and today was definitely a nice practice for a cold Giro stage."

Dempster also retains faith that Foss can still take the overall victory. “As I said before the race, we really believe in him and that’s why he’s on the team,” the Australian insists.

“You can never tell because he was coming from a complicated start, so to dump all the pressure on him for the Tour of the Alps, I don't think that was going to be the right approach. But at the same time, we want to push the boat out and I think he’s doing a really good job so far,” Dempster concludes optimistically.

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