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'I'm building nicely' –  Geraint Thomas aims for another step up at Volta a Catalunya

Three years ago, Geraint Thomas made his sole appearance to date on the podium of the Volta a Catalunya, but this time round, with the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in mind, he’s come to the race with very different goals.

The Ineos Grenadiers racer says the idea is to hit top shape in a little over six weeks rather than peaking too soon in the season.

With that in mind, the Volta is another important building block for May and July, and this week, he’ll be riding in a support role for the squad’s GC leaders.

But on the plus side, he told Cycling News at the start of stage 1, after racing Algarve, Strade Bianche and doing a training camp in Sierra Nevada, he’s very much on the right track.

“I’m building nicely; I’m just looking forward to a good hard race here,” Thomas said. “Hopefully, it’ll be good weather, and yeah – day by day.”

Back in 2021, Thomas was one of the three Ineos riders to scoop all three top places on the podium, alongside Adam Yates and Richie Porte. That was the first time Sky/Ineos had pulled off such a feat in a stage race and the first in the Volta since the Ferrys team, headed by Catalan legend Miguel Poblet, finished 1-2-3 on the podium back in 1960.

Thomas recognised that reaching such good form, though, was still a work in progress, but pointed out that given what’s in store in the summer, that was only to be expected.

“No, no, we’re not quite there yet,” he said with a smile. “Obviously, with the Giro and Tour, it’s more of a steadier build. So yeah, I’m feeling better, though. But here it’s doing a good job for the boys and continuing that progression.”

“I’m going to take it on the day by day, get stuck in and do what I can. Obviously, if there’s a chance to go for the result on the day, then yeah, but certainly not GC.”

Since his first stage race at the Algarve and with Strade Bianche, where he finished 71st, as his lone event since then, Thomas has been starting to “ramp up the intensity of training, try and come here to freshen up a bit, have a good week of racing.” 

He began that by finishing safely in the front half main pack on stage 1’s crash-blighted finale, which saw his teammate Egan Bernal go down, fortunately without serious consequences. 

After the Volta, Thomas will return to a second altitude camp at Sierra Nevada in southern Spain and then head onto the Tour of the Alps. “And after that,” he concluded, “it’s pretty much all in for the Giro.”

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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