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Winner Geraint Thomas, centre, of Britain, poses with his overall yellow jersey between second-placed Australian Richie Porte, right, and third-placed Fausto Masnada of Italy during the podium ceremony of the final-stage, 16.1-km time trial around Fribourg during the Tour de Romandie on May 2, 2021.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Geraint Thomas claimed his first title since winning the 2018 Tour de France when he wrapped up the overall victory at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday.

The Briton, who crashed in the final straight with victory in sight in Saturday’s fourth-stage uphill finish, took third place in the final individual time trial won by France’s Remi Cavagna.

It was enough for the Ineos-Grenadiers rider, who had started the day in second place in the general classification 11 seconds behind Michael Woods, to leapfrog the Canadian as he beat him by 54 seconds on the 16.2-km course around Fribourg.

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Thomas, who is expected to lead Ineos-Grenadiers on the Tour flanked by Giro d’Italia winners Tao Geoghegan Hart and Richard Carapaz, has not won a stage, however, since prevailing at L’Alpe d’Huez in 2018.

At the Tour de Romandie, he finished 28 seconds ahead of Australian teammate Richie Porte, with Italian Fausto Masnada of Deceuninck-Quick Step taking third place 38 seconds off the pace while Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) slipped down to fifth.

Briton Chris Froome’s hopes of reaching his best form again after a freak crash in 2019 suffered yet another blow as he was never in the mix, ending up 96th overall, more than an hour behind Thomas.

Once a top time-trialist, Israel Start-Up Nation’s Froome finished Sunday’s solo effort against the clock a woeful 109th out of 120 starters.

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