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“Richie was the leader coming into the race but I took my chance on the second day and I happened to get the jersey. It’s gone amazingly well. For the team - two stages, the overall and the mountains jersey - it’s been a r...

Photo: Sirotti

GERAINT THOMAS

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TEAM SKY

NEWS

VOLTA AO ALGARVE

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
22.02.2015 @ 20:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Geraint Thomas safely completed the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve to secure overall victory in Portugal.

 

The Welshman was shepherded home by his team-mates in Vilamoura to cap an incredible week for Team Sky who notched up two general classification victories a matter of minutes apart.

 

Thomas maintained his advantage of 27-seconds over nearest rival Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx – Quick-Step) to pull on the yellow jersey and clinch a third stage-race success of his career.

 

With 185 kilometres on the agenda, Team Sky’s squad of Ian Boswell, Andy Fenn, Sebastian Henao, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Salvatore Puccio, Ben Swift and stage four winner Richie Porte, finished off a week of hard work in style.

 

Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the bunch kick to pick up his first win of the year. The German led home Tom van Asbroeck (LottNL-Jumbo) and Raymond Kreder (Team Roompot).  

 

The foundations for Thomas’s victory were laid after an opportunistic breakaway on day two left the 28 year old with a stage win and a lead in excess of 30 seconds. Two days later Team Sky helped Thomas defend that margin on the queen stage and replicate Porte’s overall victory from 2012.

 

Porte (who also secured the mountains jersey) came home fourth overall, 1:14 behind his team-mate while Ben Swift was the top finisher in the concluding sprint, crossing the line in 10th.

 

 

After the race Thomas admitted he was happy to have taken an opportunity which turned into a big race win.

 

He explained: “Richie was the leader coming into the race but I took my chance on the second day and I happened to get the jersey. It’s gone amazingly well. For the team – two stages, the overall and the mountains jersey – it’s been a really good, enjoyable week.

 

“I’m just happy to get the win. We’ve got a big month ahead with Paris-Nice and the classics. The form seems to be building nicely so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

 

“You look at the previous [Volta Algarve] winners and there are a lot of strong guys there. There’s a lot of strong teams here too. I don’t get to win very often so it’s really nice.”

 

 

Sports Director Gabriel Rasch heaped praise onto the team after a week of hard work paid off. “It’s been easy this week with those guys,” said the Norwegian. “They are sacrificing everything for each other and it really shows the team spirit. Me and Kurt (Arvesen) are really really proud to be a part of it.

 

“We wanted to make sure we were happy with the morning break. Three guys went which was good for us but then Caja Rural started pulling as they missed the break. A new move went but we didn’t have to work too much today actually. Other teams came to the front and we could just protect G.

 

“In the final we were hoping for Ben but he had a really really hard day yesterday and sacrificed himself for G. It was no surprise that he was a bit tired today but he still got up in the top 10.”

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