Geraint Thomas' eventful Tirreno-Adriatico continued on stage 6 when the Welshman was hit by a late puncture with around 10 kilometres to go. A frantic chase ensued before he regained contact with the peloton and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) won the stage. Thomas finished safely in the bunch to keep his hopes of a podium alive. The race ends on Tuesday with a 10.5km time trial, and Thomas is six seconds off Mikel Landa's (Movistar) third place.
"There's no such thing as a quiet day for me," Thomas told Cyclingnews as he warmed down outside the Team Sky bus.
Thomas held the leader's jersey after the first uphill finish in the race but saw his chances of victory evaporate on the race's queen stage when an untimely mechanical saw him lose contact with his rivals. Stage 6 was destined to end in a sprint but first a puncture and then a huge fall that took out Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) threatened to derail Thomas' day.
"The front wheel puncture wasn't ideal but with 10 kilometres to go, I still had boys with me. When I saw the crash I thought 'shit this could be dangerous now' but we managed to get back. It was all good in the end and Kwiatkowski had some guys up front with him all day as well. Froome, Moscon and Castroviejo were all with me. It was perfect really, and it was sort of good because if we had been up near the front of the bunch then we could have been in the crash. We were about 50 meters behind when we saw the crash, so we knew that it would split again. That's when it was a bit more stressful."
Thomas came into Tirreno-Adriatico looking to claim his first stage race of the season. He was in control at the Volta ao Algarve last month before teammate and current Tirreno-Adriatico leader Michal Kwiatkowski, raced to the win on the final stage. Third, and possibly second if Damiano Caruso has a poor showing, is the best Thomas can hope for on Tuesday.
"I'm six seconds behind Landa so hopefully I can take those tomorrow. I would have been happy with third coming into the race but seeing how I've ridden and how the race has gone, it's a little disappointing. People have said to me 'the hard work will pay off eventually' but that still doesn't make up for losing Tirreno. It's a massive race to win and it would have been amazing to still be in the hunt."
After Tirreno-Adriatico the Welshman heads home to Monaco. From there he will travel to Tenerife for a stint of altitude training. He will race two Monuments before racing the Tour de Romandie in late April.
"The next block will be good for me. I still feel like I need that extra block. Then with Roubaix, Liege and Romandie, it's a nice set of races to look forward to."
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