Geraint Thomas survives late scare to win Criterium du Dauphine
Adam Yates won the final stage to consolidate second place.
Geraint Thomas survived a late scare to win the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday as Adam Yates won the final stage to consolidate second place.
Team Sky’s Thomas suffered two punctures during the 136-kilometre stage from Moutiers to St Gervais Mont Blanc, but took a wheel from a team-mate on the second occasion and was paced back to the peloton by Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle.
The 32-year-old Welshman eventually finished fifth, 19 seconds behind Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) whose 10-second time bonus for winning the stage reduced his overall deficit to Thomas to one minute exactly.
“It’s amazing to win such a prestigious race,” Thomas said in quotes reported on the race’s official website.
“It’s incredible. I didn’t let myself think so far ahead. I was always thinking of the next day or the next day. Now I realise I’ve won a massive race.
“Punctures today didn’t really help. I had to chase back on. The guys rode really well for me. On the last climb, I just knew I had about 1’20’’ to lose on Yatesy.
“Each kilometre I was more confident and happier. Finally, at 200 (metres) to go, when they started sprinting for the win, I was relieved. I can rest a little bit and wait for July. This is a confidence booster for the Tour (de France).”
Spain’s Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) had looked set to win the stage until Yates launched a late attack from the chasing group and caught Navarro on the final bend.
France’s Romain Bardet finished third on the stage and in the general classification, with Ireland’s Dan Martin 48 seconds behind in fourth.