THOMAS’ NEAR ESCAPE TO VICTORY

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, aboard his fi’zi:k Arione K1 saddle and slipped into his R1B Uomo shoes, came so close to sealing an extraordinary victory at Sunday’s RideLondon Classic, the Welshman lighting up a race that was eventually won by Tom Boonen.

The 30-year-old Welshman put the hammer down twice. The first distanced the peloton in the Surrey Hills; the second saw Thomas breakaway from the pack with 50km of the 200km route to go. It was on Box Hill that Thomas made his move, the Welshman easing into time-trial mode at the crest of the hill. With 25km to go, Thomas’ lead had stretched to nearly a minute. Sadly for Thomas, he was caught with just 5km to go.

‘At Box Hill I wanted to test everyone and maybe get rid of a few people but I ended up on my own,’ Thomas said after the race. ‘I’d bought my ticket and I just had to bite the bullet and go!’

By the time Thomas had reached the Embankment, he’d been caught by the sprint teams. Though Boonen took the win, Team Dimension Data’s Mark Renshaw (fi’zi:k Aliante R1) and Orica-BikeExchange’s Michael Matthews (fi’zi:k Antares 00) battled hard to finish second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, over in Spain, Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde (fi’zi:k Arione VSX) finished third at the 220km Clasica San Sebastian behind winner Bauke Mollema and runner-up Tony Gallopin. It continued Valverde’s impressive record at the Clasica San Sebastian. Valverde has now been on the podium six times and won the race twice. The result means Movistar are at the top of the WorldTour rankings, 106 points clear of Tinkoff.