Geraint Thomas wins time trial and reinforces leadership

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has won the third stage of the Volta ao Algarve, a 20.3-kilometer time trial in Lagoa
The Welsh cyclist, winner of the Volta ao Algarve in 2015 and 2016, pulverized the records of the competition by finish the 20.3-kilometer time trial in Lagoa in 24m09s. Geraint Thomas rode at an average speed of 50,435 km / h, a relevant achievement, taking into account the route, with several inclined ramps, rises, descents and turns, which broke the rhythm and increased the difficulty of the stage.
The second was the European Time trial champion, Belgian Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), who spent 11 seconds more than Geraint Thomas. Swiss champion Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team) closed the day’s podium, 19 seconds behind the winner.
The triumph in the time-trial confirmed Geraint Thomas as the main favourite to win the 44th Volta ao Algarve. Team Sky’s frontman kept the yellow jersey and now has a 22-second lead over team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski. The Portuguese Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) scored an excellent fourth place in the stage, being catapulted to third place overall, 32 seconds behind.
It is expected that the last stage, to be played on Sunday, between Faro and the top of Malhão, is decisive, since the last climb may provide attacks that disregard the superiority of Team Sky.
“I felt really good at Fóia but today I would not know what to expect, I chose to start strong and manage the effort, and when you are in the yellow jersey, it gives you an extra motivation, I felt good and I was able to win for the first time. There are several strong climbers in the peloton and the differences are short but both I and Kwiatkowski are among the first and, if it goes well, we will keep the yellow jersey, ” Thomas said.
Michal Kwiatkowski continues to wear the Cofidis Red Jersey of regularity (points classification) on a one-on-one match with Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo). Benjamin King (Team Dimension Data) kept the Liberty Seguros Blue Jersey (mountains classification), but he will have to work hard on the two remaining stages to keep it. Team Sunweb confirms the favouritism to the Águas Algarve White Jersey placing two riders at the top of the youth table with Dutchman Sam Oomen in the lead. Team Sky commands collectively.
Tomorrow’s stage
The fourth stage, to be played on Saturday, is the longest in the competition, 199.2 kilometres between Almodôvar and Tavira. The departure will be at 12.00 p.m., with a sprint finish expected at around 5 p.m. On the way there are two flying goals, Rosario (km 39,2) and Alcoutim (km 132,5), and two climbs (4th category), Neves (km 98,3) and Santa Marta (km 121).
Algarve Granfondo Cofidis
Tavira will also stage this Saturday the Algarve Granfondo Cofidis. The popular participation event, which has more than 800 participants, starts at 9:20 am. The participants are divided between the Mediofondo, with 73 kilometres, and Granfondo, with 119.
3.ª Etapa/3rd Stage: Lagoa – Lagoa, 20,3 km (ITT)
1.º Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), 24m09s (50,435 km/h)
2.º Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), a 11s
3.º Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team), a 19s
4.º Nelson OLiveira (Movistar Team), a 22s
5.º Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), mt
6.º Tony Martin (Team Katusha Alpecin), a 27s
7.º Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), a 47s
8.º Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), a 49s
9.º Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), a 50s
10.º Lukasz Wisniowski (Team Sky), a 51s
Geral Individual/General Classification
1.º Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), 10h01m58s
2.º Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), a 22s
3.º Nelson OLiveira (Movistar Team), a 32s
4.º Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), a 52s
5.º Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), a 53s
6.º Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), a 1m01s
7.º Jaime Rosón (Movistar Team), a 1m18s
8.º Maximilian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors), a 1m19s
9.º Felix Grosschartner (Bora-hansgrohe), a 1m20s
10.º Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), a 1m24s