Joao Almeida started the day in second place, but the UAE Team Emirates leader could not hold the wheel and lost time on the day.
Thomas responded to Roglic’s surge and shadowed him all the way to the finish at Val di Zoldo to retain his advantage with three stages of the race to go.
Roglic will begin Friday’s tough stage 29 seconds adrift of Thomas, and the Ineos Grenadiers man will start the day in a positive frame of mind.
“It was a decent day to gain time on Almeida and not get dropped by Primoz,” Thomas told Eurosport.
“It was a good day, a solid day for sure. I felt pretty in control.
“Primoz, he likes to go hard, take it easy, go hard. I gave him a few turns and was not sure how he was feeling, and in the last 2k he squeezed on. He was super strong and I was happy with how I was.”
Thomas has seen his two rivals for the pink jersey suffer a bad day each in the final week, and the Welshman – who celebrated his 37th birthday with a cake at Thursday’s pre-race presentation – is looking to avoid one of his own.
“It is nice [to hold the lead], but Primoz had a bad day the other day, Almeida today,” Thomas said. “I have just got to be consistent and take it day by day, climb by climb.”
‘It all looks very good for Thomas’ – Reaction to latest joust with Roglic
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