Team Sky’s Thomas wins Criterium

Team Sky’s Thomas wins Criterium

Geraint Thomas says winning the 2018 Criterium du Dauphine is the finest result of his career on the road.

Thomas finished 60 seconds ahead of nearest rival Adam Yates, victor of the final stage, with an overall time of 24 hours, 43 minutes and 12 seconds. France's Romain Bardet, of AG2R, jumped to third from seventh overnight and is at 2min 01sec.

"Without the boys here I would not have won the Dauphine".

Team Sky's Thomas suffered two punctures during the 136km stage from Moutiers to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, but took a wheel from a teammate on the second occasion and was paced back to the peloton by Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle.

The race is a good indicator of form heading into the Tour de France, which takes place from 7-29 July.

"I was counting down the kilometres on the last climb and knew I had about 1'20" to lose to Adam Yates so, as each kilometre went by, I was more confident and happy.

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"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.

Thomas would normally expect to be a domestique for four-time champion Froome at the Tour but victory at the Criterium against potential Tour contenders, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Froome's adverse analytical finding from a drug test past year, means the Welshman could yet be riding for his own glory next month.

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

But it did give Thomas the chance to lead Team Sky. I get to ride the races I want and I am a leader in a lot of them. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale +9 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 19, 6. Daniel Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates +24 7. Pierre Latour (FRA/ALM) 3:49, 10.

Thomas now leads Yates by 1:29 in the overall standings.

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