13 Sep 2007

The 22-year-old – who has seen his challenge for the yellow jersey ruined by a stomach upset – finished yesterday’s 95-mile stage in a respectable 38th position.Geraint Through Wheel Spokes

But that still leaves the Barloworld rider in 67th position overall and a whopping 21 minutes behind leader Nikolai Trusov.

Australian Matt Goss took the third stage yesterday, but Thomas is still remaining positive ahead of the fourth stage from Rotherham to Bradford.

"The legs are still pretty sore and weak, but I’ve coped with worse and I’m determined to get through this," Thomas said.

"Bike racing is never easy when you feel 100 per cent so this illness couldn’t have come at a worse time, but I’m a determined guy and will carry on fighting.

"It’s not been a great week so far, but there are still three stages left and, if things clear up, I’ve got a decent chance of taking a stage.

"It’s one of my last races of the season and I’m determined to go out with a bang."

But Welsh rival Rob Partridge fared better on the slalom through the Malvern Hills.

The Wrexham-based rider finished the stage eighth but admitted he had blown a golden opportunity of a top-three finish.