Geraint Thomas: Two more big days at the Giro d’Italia and we’ll see where I end up

Ineos Grenadiers leader has all eyes on Dani Martínez's second place, but knows the battle will be tough on stages 19 and 20

Clock20:17, Thursday 23rd May 2024
Geraint Thomas is in a two-way battle for second place with Bora-Hansgrohe's Dani Martínez

© Getty Images

Geraint Thomas is in a two-way battle for second place with Bora-Hansgrohe's Dani Martínez

The roadbook at the Giro d’Italia dictates that there are still three more stages in this year’s race but in Geraint Thomas’ (Ineos Grenadiers) world only two count - stage 19 to Sappada and stage 20 to Bassano del Grappa. The final stage through the centre of Rome should be nothing more than a formality - a sprinters’ party before the curtain falls on the 2024 Giro d’Italia and all eyes turn towards the Tour de France in July.

Stage 19 should favour a breakaway but the three climbs in the final 60km could break up the peloton and cause problems for several potential GC riders suffering from fatigue. The penultimate stage to Bassano del Grappa will almost certainly settle the final podium in this year’s race, and with Thomas third but within touching distance of Dani Martínez's (Bora-Hansgrohe) second place, almost everything bar the maglia rosa is still to play for. The pair are separated by just 24 seconds with Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) a distant fourth.

At the finish of stage 18 in Padova, a relaxed Thomas stepped off the rollers following his cool down and walked over to the GCN and Cyclingnews media teams. He was asked if he would have settled for third place with three days to go way back in Turin almost three weeks ago. After jokingly pointing out that there were in fact just two real stages left, he added: “You always want more but I can be happy with how I’ve ridden so far. I’ve not made too many mistakes and I’ve just tried everything that I could. Two more big days and we’ll see where I end up.”

Stage 18 was relatively uneventful. Tim Merlier snaffled up his second stage win of the race, while Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) sailed home to protect his impregnable lead in the overall standings. While it might have seemed pedestrian from the outside, the stage was an intense day in the saddle for the peloton, with a strong break up the road, and plenty of sprint teams willing to raise the pace when necessary.

“You’re always hoping for an easier day but that was anything but that. I should have known that, because it’s been like that every day,” Thomas added.

“It was strange because they were riding quite hard at times, and the motorbikes play a big part in that, and they were letting the gap go out and then bringing it back down again. It was just one of those days, especially because mentally you switch off after a few big days, then this one, and then a few more to come. I’m glad to get it out of the way. Tomorrow is another big day and then Saturday is another one.”

To depose Martínez of second place overall, Thomas must drop his former teammate - most likely on stage 20. The pair have been well-matched since the race left Turin but Martínez has probably had the edge in the last few rounds in the mountains.

“It’s tough. He’s riding really well. I get on with him well. I’ll just try and see what happens,” Thomas said.

For everything you need to know about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, from the history of the race to this year's route and start list, be sure to check out our dedicated race hub.

Related Content

Link to Giro d'Italia stage 18 results: Tim Merlier wins sprint finish ahead of Jonathan Milan
Tim Merlier celebrates victory on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia stage 18 results: Tim Merlier wins sprint finish ahead of Jonathan Milan

Belgian grabs his second stage victory of the race in chaotic and entertaining finale in Padova

Clock
Link to Giro d’Italia sprint analysis: Only chaos can defeat Jonathan Milan
Jonathan Milan was beaten by Tim Merlier on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia sprint analysis: Only chaos can defeat Jonathan Milan

Tim Merlier wins stage 18 as maglia ciclamino loses lead-out in fast finale, and Groves misses out again

Clock
Link to 5 unmissable stages of the 2024 Tour de France
The fearsome Col du Galibier appears shockingly early in the 2024 Tour de France

5 unmissable stages of the 2024 Tour de France

Mountains, gravel, and final-day drama: Here's our pick of the most promising stages of the upcoming Tour de France

Clock
Link to Analysing Visma-Lease a Bike’s Tour de France long list
Jonas Vingegaard and his then Jumbo-Visma teammates have been triumphant at the Tour de France for the past two years

Analysing Visma-Lease a Bike’s Tour de France long list

With Jonas Vingegaard on the comeback trail and Sepp Kuss suffering from illness, the team still has plenty of question marks looming before July

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox