Wales’ Geraint Thomas claimed victory in the one-day E3 Harelbeke in Belgium on Friday to boost Team Sky’s morale ahead of their major spring goals.
The Commonwealth Games champion raced away from breakaway colleagues Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) with four kilometres to go in the 215km Belgian cobbled race.
In the same race Fabian Cancellara broke two vertebrae in a crash, ruling him out of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. His absence from the latter race is a boost to Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins, who is targeting a strong showing.
Stybar was second behind Thomas, but Sagan faded in the finale and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-Quickstep) won the sprint for third.
Meanwhile, Sky’s Richie Porte assumed the lead at the Volta a Catalunya after Alejandro Valverde won yesterday’s fifth stage.
Australian Porte holds a five-second advantage over Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale), while Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) sits third overall in the race, which concludes tomorrow.Reuse content