Tirreno-Adriatico: Geraint Thomas slips to sixth, Lucas Hamilton wins stage

Cycling
Michael Woods retained the leader's blue jersey by finishing third in Thursday's fourth stage

Britain’s Geraint Thomas slipped to sixth overall at the Tirreno-Adriatico after an attacking finish to the first mountain stage of the race.

Australian Lucas Hamilton won stage four in Cascia, while Canada’s Michael Woods kept the overall lead.

Thomas and compatriot Simon Yates attacked on the final climb.

But Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Hamilton escaped on the descent and pipped Fausto Masnada in a sprint finish to the 194km stage.

Ineos Grenadiers’ Thomas followed the attack of Yates and came home fifth on the stage, part of a second group that included Yates and another Briton, James Knox of Deceuninck-QuickStep.

Hamilton and Masnada moved up in the general classification as Welshman Thomas and Yates slipped to sixth and seventh respectively – 34 seconds off the lead held by EF Pro Cycling’s Woods. Knox sits 10th, 47 seconds behind.

Thomas’ team-mate and Britain’s four-time Tour champion Chris Froome finished nine minutes 55 seconds behind Hamilton and now sits 28 minutes behind Woods overall.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion who was not selected for this year’s race, is aiming to race in next month’s Giro d’Italia.

“This race is all about seeing how the legs are and I’m riding it slightly differently. I’m just riding this race as thought I’m prepared to lose it,” he said.

“It came to a sprint for third. I knew the road tightened up and I was hoping I could use that to hold them off. I went a little too early but it’s all good.”

Stage five of the eight-day race takes the riders 202km from Norcia to an uphill finish at Sarnano-Sassotetto.

Stage four result

1. Lucas Hamilton (Aus, Mitchelton-Scott) 4hrs 46mins 22secs

2. Fausto Masnada (Ita, Deceuninck-Quickstep) same time

3. Michael Woods (Can, EF Pro Cycling) +10secs

4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus, Astana Pro Team) same time

5. Geraint Thomas (Gbr, Ineos Grenadiers) same time

General classification

1. Michael Woods (Can/ EF Pro Cycling) 18hrs 5mins 52secs

2. Rafal Majka (Pol/ BORA – hansgrohe) +9secs

3. Fausto Masnada (Ita, Deceuninck – Quick-Step) +18secs

4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus, Mitchelton – Scott) +27secs

5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/ Team Sunweb) +30secs

6. Geraint Thomas (GB/ INEOS Grenadiers) +34secs

7. Simon Yates (GB/ Mitchelton-Scott) same time

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