“I just thought I’d give it a go” - Geraint Thomas tests his legs ahead of the Giro d’Italia with an attack on the final stage of the Tour of the Alps

With the Giro d’Italia now just two weeks away, last year’s runner-up Geraint Thomas has been honing his form at the Tour of the Alps this week with his traditional preparation method of a slow build-up ahead of a Grand Tour.

We have seen sparks of form from the Welshman throughout the week though, as he made the front group after the race split on the descent of the final climb on the opening stage and was tactically astute in setting up his teammate Tobias Foss for the stage win.

He also attempted to animate the race on the final stage, as he attacked on the first ascent of the Palù del Fersina climb with around 57km to go along with Giulio Pellizzari and Hugh Carthy. However, despite being allowed a small gap of around half a minute at the top of the climb, the move was quickly shut down by the peloton led by Lidl-Trek on the descent.

Though he was clearly not trying to contest the general classification at the race, Thomas did still manage to finish 13th overall, which was the best result from his INEOS Grenadiers team.

Speaking in an interview with Cyclingnews after the final stage of the race, Thomas explained why he decided to go on the attack, as he said “I just thought I’d give it a go. It was a solid pace but I thought I’d see if we could take a little group and maybe get a small advantage for the second climb. They shut that down on the climb and brought us back pretty quickly really, but it’s tough on the front with a headwind”.

It has been a solid week of race preparation for the former Tour de France winner though, as he went on to say “I felt okay, but it’s just another day of going deep and I’ve got to freshen up now. I think once I rest up and recover now, soak up all this work, I should have made a good step. We’ve got a recon tomorrow then I’ll head back to Monaco and chill out”.

Also speaking to Cyclingnews at the stage 5 finish in Levico Terme was INEOS Grenadiers sports director Zak Dempster, who still had some doubts over Thomas’ form, as he said “he’s come from a big block in Sierra Nevada and he’s in a good place but I don’t know whether he’s got work to do or whether he just needs to freshen up a bit towards the Giro. But I would say things are on track with Geraint for the Grand Tours”.

In addition to the Giro d’Italia, Thomas is also set to ride the Tour de France this summer, but his concentration is currently fully on the Italian Grand Tour in May, as they are currently conducting their final recons of the route, with Dempster stating that “we’re heading off to see Monte Grappa for the key stage 20. That’s almost the last of the recons. It’s been a big process since the route was announced in November. We’ve still got Oropa to come before the race and the final of stage 1 but we’re in a really good place I think”.

The riders will have to climb the full 18.2km at 8.1% of the Monte Grappa twice on the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia, which could prove to be decisive in the overall outcome of the race. In his assessment of this year’s route, Thomas said that “it’s always tough, you’ve always got climbs and time trials, but I prefer these time trials than last year’s anyway”.

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