Sport

Team Sky's Thomas wins Criterium

Team Sky's Thomas wins Criterium

Geraint Thomas has extended his lead at the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race in France, after finishing second behind stage six victor Pello Bilbao on Saturday's penultimate day of racing.

Thomas sealed overall victory in the prestigious race for the first time - becoming the fifth British victor in its history - after successfully defending his overall lead as second-placed compatriot Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won the final stage on St Gervais Mont Blanc.

Yates finished the seventh stage in a time of three hours 51 minutes 34 seconds with Thomas in fifth, 19 seconds behind.

"Ive been feeling good all year", the Irishman said after the race. Bilbao made his move late on during the gruelling stage that is nearly the same as stage 11 in the Tour de France next month, with four major climbs and a summit finish at la Rosiere.

"Throughout the race I was never thinking about the end result, it was always about the next day or the next climb".




"The Tour de France has been my goal since start of season, but the Volta a Catalunya set things back", Yates said about crashing out of the Catalonia tour in March.

A late flurry saw him claim third on the day, nine seconds behind Yates, and third overall but Thomas crossed the line ten seconds later to earn the second UCI WorldTour stage race win of his career after Paris-Nice 2016.

"I made a good recovery though and I'm in good shape, ready for the next training block ahead of the Tour".

He is seeking to become the fifth British victor and follow recent successes for other Team Sky riders in Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2011 and 2012 and for Chris Froome in 2013, 2015 and 2016. We're getting closer and closer so I'm happy to get confidence from this race. Thomas came in second, managing to put further valuable seconds between himself and his rivals for the yellow leader. Emanuel Buchmann (GER) BORA - hansgrohe +14 5. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale +9 4. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 35, 10.


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