Thomas fifth in mountain test

06 Sep 2023

Thomas fifth in mountain test

Vuelta a Espana - Stage 11 » Lerma › La Laguna Negra. Vinuesa, 163.2km

Geraint Thomas climbed to fifth on stage 11 of La Vuelta, aided by some superb teamwork from Filippo Ganna.

After a ferocious start that saw the bunch cover 50 kilometres in the first hour, the duo made it into the 26-rider break of the day.

In the run into the deciding climb, the duo put in some strong turns to ensure they’d be fighting for the stage win. 

Onto the slopes of the Laguna Negra, and Ganna, fresh from his time trial success on stage 10, set a tremendous pace up the mountain, dropping many of the pair’s breakaway companions. 

Thomas then put in an effort under the one kilometre to go banner, where he would distance yet more of his rivals.

In the final run to the line, ‘G’ dug deep, but was unable to sprint for the win. He would cross the line fifth, with Ganna in 10th after a selfless ride.

The result elevated Thomas three places on the general classification to 18th overall.

Wednesday also saw stage four of the Tour of Britain taking place, as fantastic weather and great crowds continued to follow the race.

Once again the Grenadiers helped control the stage, before upping the tempo late on, hitting the front to keep Tom Pidcock out of trouble heading into the final kilometres.

Luke Rowe, Connor Swift and Ben Turner pushed the pace, with Turner holding on well in the bunch sprint to take eighth place. Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) once again won the sprint to make it four wins from four. 



Geraint Thomas:

“We got in the break. Ideally we wanted two of us and me and Pippo was a good combination. I said to him halfway round that ‘I’m not feeling great’. The team tried geeing me up and Pippo really wanted to commit to me and I really appreciated that. I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t finish it off. I just felt I had no real gas at the end and a bit limited. But we gave it everything and that’s what we had on the day."

 “Seeing [Ganna] at the start remind me of (Wout) Van Aert at the Tour last year, when he could just make a break happen. He was going and the bunch was just splitting in the crosswinds. He had Egan in the wheel and everyone was getting dropped. He was making the break. He’s got so much gas and he’s going so well. It’s great to have him there, but like I say, it was probably a bit too steep for him here so he committed full for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite finish it off – but we’ll keep trying.”

Vuelta results:

1. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)
2. Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ), +3''
3. Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny), +8''
4. Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-EasyPost), +12''
5. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), +19''


10. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers), +1'16"