“I felt good but when the guys started to attack I thought I would follow Woods and let him go,” Thomas said as he warmed up after Stage 5.
“It rolled so hard I thought it would shut them all up, but it didn’t really look like it today, so I had to shut it down. ”
The lack of unity between Thomas, Majka and Vlasov hampered their pursuit efforts, while ahead of Yates was able to maintain his pace without distraction. If the chasing trio had worked together they might have reduced the advantage of pilot Mitchelton-Scott before the finish, but for Thomas stage 5 was nonetheless a step in the right direction.
The 34-year-old has been struggling to regain his form since racing resumed in August, finishing well below the overall standings of the Tour de l’Ain and Critérium du Dauphiné.
Thomas noted that the lack of cooperation in the chase group behind Yates, “was probably not ideal, but I got through, and then the three of us were messing around. Not really me but the other two. They continued to attack everyone. other, swaying and then complaining that the others weren’t coming but when you smash him in the front, you can’t just expect the others to come by. If we had just rode together it would have been better, but that’s the way it is. ”
Thomas uses Tirreno-Adriatico as a tune-up ahead of the Giro d’Italia, which starts on October 3 in Sicily. The Welshman has started the Giro three times in his career, with his last outing in 2017. That year he targeted the GC but crashed on stage 13 in Tortona due to the actions of a motorcycle on the run.
His return to 2020 has been controversial after he and Chris Froome – also a Tirreno-Adriatico rider – were both excluded from the Tour of Ineos squad, but with the Giro just weeks away, Thomas appears to be heading into the good direction.
“I’m pretty happy with my situation and it shows the work I did and that it was worth it. It’s encouraging and I think this race will do me good. “