Thomas battles hard to retain third

19 Jul 2022

Thomas battles hard to retain third

Related riders

Tour de France - Stage 16 » Carcassonne › Foix, 178.5km

Geraint Thomas dug deep to retain third place at the Tour de France after a strong display of teamwork on stage 16.
 
The Welshman was able to finish as part of an extremely exclusive GC group into Foix on a very selective day that saw movement within the top 10.
 
Thomas lost contact with the yellow jersey briefly on the final climb of the Mur de Peguere but received great support from Adam Yates. The Brit’s turn put Thomas in position to bridge over the top, with Dani Martinez helping him make the junction and providing support on the descent and run-in.
 
Martinez had gone up the road early as part of the day’s mass 31-rider break, which saw Canadian Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) win the stage solo.

Thomas sits 2:43 back on the yellow jersey of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), but significantly increased his gap on third place as Romain Bardet (Team DSM) slipped back. Yates now occupies sixth overall (+5:28), with Tom Pidcock now 10th (+10:11). 
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Reaction

- Geraint Thomas

"I was feeling good. When they went on the steep bit I didn’t panic, let them go and stayed at my own pace. Yatesy was really good. Fair play, he really committed to me and rode a nice tempo in the last kilometre and a half. I had something left in the legs and had almost closed them by the top. That was encouraging and obviously it was really good to have Dani up the road. He waited and it was great just to close that last 100 metres to the group. Then he rode at the end just to increase the gap to Bardet. It was a really good team performance. 
 
"I seem to be coping with the heat alright considering I’m from Wales. I’ve had plenty of time in the heat now and over the years got used to it. Tour de Suisse was good prep for that as well."

- Tom Pidcock

"The roads are very different here. Much heavier, slower and narrower. A bit more of a tricky place to race than the Alps I think. The end wasn’t bad. Me and Yatesy finished together, trying to limit our (mainly his) losses a little bit. It was a hard first day back. I was struggling a little bit in the first part of the race, but once we got on that last climb I felt a bit better. 
 
"I don’t know how achievable the top 10 is going to be – there’s going to be another two very hard days. We’ll give it a good go but there are more important things to do like helping G. It might come to a point where I have to sacrifice that goal but we’ll see on the road."