*** ----> Track cycling star Benjamin Thomas escapes to win Giro 5th stage | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Track cycling star Benjamin Thomas escapes to win Giro 5th stage

AFP | New Delhi     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Frenchman Benjamin Thomas outfoxed the three other members of a late breakaway to take stage five of the Giro d’Italia in Lucca yesterday.

Thomas, a five-time world champion on the track, was part of a powerful quartet that escaped with 80km to go and eked out a narrow lead to the line.

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar finished safely in the peloton and retained the overall lead of the Giro.

Thomas of Cofidis escaped with Dane Michael Valgren of EF Education-EasyPost, Frenchman Enzo Paleni of Groupama-FDJ and Italian Andrea Pietrobon of Polti-Kometa after an intermediate sprint with less than 80 km to go.

The quartet never led by more than 90 seconds but were able to turn that small margin into victory by working hard together while the sprint teams in the peloton were unable, or unwilling, to organise a coherent chase.

“It was like a long, long team pursuit,” said Thomas. “It was really hard in the finale.

Every pull was full gas. With 10km it was still 45 seconds with a tail wind so we knew we could have played with the bunch. We were going over 60 kilometres an hour.

That’s when we knew we could do it. “Nobody bet on the breakaway today.” Pietrobon then attacked with almost a kilometre to go and built a lead.

“I risked losing it to win it,” said Thomas. “I didn’t close the gap. It worked out perfectly.” As the Italian faded, Valgren overtook but was in turn caught on the line by Thomas.