Cool head key as Geraint Thomas wins Volta ao Algarve again

Team Sky's Welshman stays calm on final stage to bag overall victory for second consecutive year

Geraint Thomas says staying calm on the final stage was key to sealing overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve for the second consecutive year.

Thomas set the tone for a great season by winning in Portugal 12 months ago, and backed it up with another victory after claiming the leader’s jersey on the final stage.

Geraint Thomas won the Volta ao Algarve for the second consecutive year (pic: Sirotti)

Alberto Contador had soloed to victory after two ascents of the Alto do Malhao on the final day, but with race leader Tony Martin – who Thomas trailed by just three seconds – off the back, the Welshman resisted the urge to follow the attack.

Instead he marked his closest rival for the overall victory, Jon Izaguirre, and his cool head paid off, taking fifth on the stage to top the GC.

“Once Tony Martin got dropped first time up the climb the stage was all about defending that lead,” Thomas told the team website.

“Izaguirre was the biggest threat after that and I just didn’t get carried away when Contador and Uran attacked.

“I just followed Izaguirre all the way until well into the last kilometre. I had a little dig myself but I kind of knew I had it by then.

“The worst thing that could happen was to follow Contador, blow up and then maybe lose the race overall. It was just about playing it safe and finishing the job off.”

Thomas’ victory was the fourth stage race success of his career, and the Welshman wants to carry his form forward into an action-packed year.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium and get a win,” he said. “I don’t get to do it very often so I certainly enjoy that.

Thomas’ victory is the fourth stage race win of his career (Pic: Sirotti)

“It’s definitely a good confidence booster now going into the last big block of training. I’ve got a big block of racing then with three big stage races and then three big one-days as well. Hopefully I can take something out of all that.”

Volta ao Algarve 2016: final general classification

1) Geraint Thomas (GBR) – Team Sky – 18.34.15hrs
2) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar +19”
3) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff +26”
4) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +32”
5) Primoz Roglic (SVN) – LottoNL-Jumbo +49”
6) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal +50”
7) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha +1.03
8) Jarlinson Pantano (COL) – IAM Cycling +1.04
9) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +1.25
10) Manuel Antunes Amaro (POR) +1.27

Geraint Thomas’ top six climbing tips


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