Geraint Thomas admits Vuelta a Espana podium chances are looking slim
Geraint Thomas accepts his hopes of securing a podium finish at the Vuelta a Espana are probably over.
The Welshman has endured a troubled race and sits in 22nd place in the general classification, 12 minutes and 34 seconds off the pace, after nine of the 21 stages.
The 37-year-old, who had been one of the pre-race favourites, crashed in poor weather on stage two and then badly cut his knee after a further fall on the seventh stage.
After four podium finishes in his last five Grand Tours appearances, the 2018 Tour de France winner recognises his good run may be over.
Thomas said: “GC – well, you never say it’s totally over because one breakaway and you can kind of be back in the mix, but I’d say that the podium is a hell of a long way off now.
“I think it’s more about refocusing and looking at each day as it comes. I think we just need to be aggressive beyond and try and take the opportunities that arise there.”
It has also been a difficult event for Thomas’ Ineos Grenadiers team as a whole. There were problems behind the scenes prior to their arrival, while Laurens De Plus and Thymen Arensman both crashed out in the opening week.
Thomas said: “It’s up and down, mainly down – like on the floor – as much as anything else.
“It’s been tough week for the team, as well as me personally, losing two of our climbers. It’s certainly not ideal with the terrain we’ve had and got to come.
“It’s one to try and put behind us and try and be positive and move on, look at opportunities for the rest of the race. There’s still a lot of chances, we’ve still got a good team and we still can potentially do something good.”
Monday was a rest day at the Vuelta with stage 10, a 28.5km individual time trial, taking place on Tuesday. American rider Sepp Kuss of Jumbo-Visma, who holds a 43-second advantage, will be in the leader’s red jersey.
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