A victorious Mark Cavendish described his impromptu lead-out man Geraint Thomas as "more than just a good rider, he’s a f****** good person, and friend", after the Manxman won the final stage into Rome.
Thomas, who had been forced to concede overall victory to Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the mountain time trial the day before, paced Cavendish through the second-last kilometre, helping to position him ideally for victory.
"G is so special. He has been one of my best friends throughout my career," Cavendish said after his win, as reported in Het Nieuwsblad . "Saturday night you saw what Thomas really is like. He had only just lost the Giro, but immediately afterwards he was happy again. G is an eternal optimist. This typified him. That’s why he’s so special."
Cavendish also revealed that he had joked around during the race with Thomas about the Welshman leading him out, not necessarily expecting it to happen.
"I asked him half seriously, half jokingly: wouldn’t it be nice to do the lead out for me. And suddenly he yelled: Cav! And he did," said Cavendish.
Thomas confirmed this on his Watts Occurring podcast with Luke Rowe, saying: "Loads of people have been saying how good it was for me to do, but it just seemed natural almost. Maybe because I’ve done so much with Cav, you just help a mate out don’t you, if you can.
"It was just great to see him win. You know, his last ever Giro stage in Rome, the Coliseum behind him […]