Geraint Thomas explains final Giro stage controversy: "I don't understand modern cycling anymore"

Geraint Thomas had a strong Giro d'Italia, riding into a second consecutive podium in three weeks where he experienced difficult days and crashes. In the final day of the race he was looking to have a slow and relaxed day on the bike before the final circuit in Rome, and was annoyed by UAE Team Emirates' pacing. He explains this incident.

"You always have to expect the unexpected, but I don't understand modern cycling anymore. With twenty kilometres to go in the final stage, the wind broke, what was that all about? They are all very strong at UAE Team Emirates, but I told them that it could be a bit calmer," Thomas said in the Watts Occuring podcast.

The clip of him telling UAE's Felix Grossschartner went viral, as an unusual sight in the peloton. "I've seen a lot of changes in the sport, but this was really the first time I saw the peloton break after twenty kilometres in a stage like that," he continued. As a Tour de France veteran - and winner - he did not want to carry on the final day with such speed.

"UAE just really stepped on the gas, but I don't know why. I just rode there and said: what are you doing? Just take it easy, we're cycling towards Rome. We started the stage at a place that was definitely important, rode to the coast and back."

"On the way back we had crosswind and Felix Grossschartner was riding in front. He said: oh, we just rode the same power in front as against the wind, 350 watts or something. But the guys in the back have to sprint full throttle, and that's when those breaks in the peloton occur." However there were no hard feelings between the two, or with UAE.

"I thought: come on. But he came back to me afterwards and said 'sorry, I really feel like an idiot'. It wasn't that bad, but still. That pace normally only comes on the local circuit, that's how it is in Paris. In the end it happened, but these are the things that come with the final stage of a Grand Tour," Thomas concluded.

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