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"We discussed on the radio that if Geraint felt fresh then he could try something at the finish. I think he felt confident and Christian brought him into the final climb in a good position so he went for it."

Photo: Sirotti

GERAINT THOMAS

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR DE SUISSE

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20.06.2015 @ 19:43 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Geraint Thomas continued his battling performance at the Tour de Suisse as he clawed back three more seconds on the penultimate stage. The Welshman jumped out of the pack as part of a five-man faction on the approach to the line in Bern, chipping more valuable seconds off the lead of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).

 

As Thomas took time for the third day in succession, the Frenchman’s advantage dropped from 37 to 34 seconds ahead of Sunday’s deciding 38.4-kilometre time trial. Team Sky made sure Thomas was never far from the front of the peloton and engineered a hard pace with Danny Pate, Bernhard Eisel and Christian Knees all active at the head of affairs late on.

 

Despite that the day always looked likely play into the hands of the breakaway and so it proved, with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) ultimately the strongest of a 19-man group, claiming an eventual two-up sprint over Jan Bakelants (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

 

Sergio Henao followed Pinot across the line in the peloton, 2:14 behind Lutsenko and three seconds behind Thomas to rise one place into ninth overall, 2:46 back heading into the final day. With a 34-second gap ahead to the Pinot and the yellow jersey, Thomas also finished alongside near rival Simon Spilak (Katusha) who sits 13 seconds behind, setting up an intriguing final day.

 

The Tour de Suisse in Bern on stage eight of the 2015 Tour de Suisse.

 

After the stage Sports Director Gabriel Rasch talked the Team Sky website through the day's events, telling TeamSky.com:

 

"Geraint did a really good job at the finish to take back a few more seconds and the whole team were excellent today.

 

"For us it was not that important to close down the break. Barguil and Bakelants were in there and they were fairly close on GC but it was not an immediate danger. When it got to two minutes it was better to have guys around Thomas for a longer time than have them pull and then drop back from Geraint.

 

"We discussed on the radio that if Geraint felt fresh then he could try something at the finish. I think he felt confident and Christian brought him into the final climb in a good position so he went for it.

 

"Now it comes down to the final time trial. He's chasing down Pinot but he's also got Spilak and (Tom) Dumoulin quite close behind. So it will be an exciting one."

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