Geraint Thomas says he's in top shape to support Chris Froome's Tour de France challenge

Welshman who missed last year's race due to Olympics should be back this time round

by Simon_MacMichael   June 17, 2013  

Geraint Thomas after winning Stage 2 of 2013 TDU (copyright Santos Tour Down Under, Regallo)

Geraint Thomas says he is in top shape to support Chris Froome in the Tour de France mountain stages – assuming that Team Sky call him up to support the pre-race favourite.

Thomas missed last year’s race as he focused instead on preparing for London 2012, where he was a member of the team pursuit  line-up that successfully defended the title he had helped win in Beijing four year's earlier.

But last week, he was a key member of the squad that helped Froome seal overall victory in the Critérium du Dauphineé.

Referring to his form in that race, which takes in some of the ascents that will be tackled in the Tour, he told the BBC: "It was really good.

“I've been working quite a lot on my climbing and trying to lose a bit of weight."

Before the race started, he'd hinted about that to his followers on Twitter, joking: “Just been checking out the stages at the Dauphine this year... May skip eating tomorrow. #alotofuphill”

Jokes apart though, he does feel that the climbing part of his riding is coming together.

"I really felt I'd moved on in that area last week and could do a decent job for Chris,” he explained.

"It was great to see him winning and the team doing so well. It's just great to be a part of it all."

Thomas, who in 2007 was the youngest rider in that year’s Tour de France which he rode with Barloworld, finishing last but one, has had some high spots at the Tour since joining Sky.

In 2010, wearing the British national champion’s jersey, he finished second on Stage 3 which went over the cobbles used in Paris-Roubaix and spent four days in the white jersey of best young rider.

The following year he recovered from two crashes in the Pyrenees to launch a storming solo attack shortly afterwards from the break to head the race as it went up the Tourmalet, and would be given the day’s combativity surprise.

Expectations are that the 26-year-old from Cardiff will feature in the Team Sky squad when it is announced later this week.

"I've just got to treat it as if I'm going," he reflected. "I've got my programme from the coach, so just keep doing everything right and hopefully I'll be lining up on the start line.”

As for his own chances of enjoying some time in the spotlight again, he said: "I think it's a bit of a tough one, when it comes to trying to win the Tour overall it pretty much means all for the one guy the whole three weeks.

"I may get lucky, I may have a through role to play at one point in the race, but I think going there the main job for me will be just to look after Chris and do a similar job to what I was doing last week at the Dauphiné.

"Obviously after last week morale was really high because everyone was going really well and we had all the results to back it up,” he went on.

"Expectations have grown since last year's Tour win and the whole team expects to ride well now - everyone feeds off each other."

Reflecting on the absence of defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, due to injury, Thomas said: "It is different and I think we will miss him to an extent as well, but we've still got a really strong team and a lot of good guys that can step up and fill his place.

"It's a shame he won't be there because he's quite a good mate of mine, but that's the way it goes some times.

"But we've still got one of the strongest teams - if not the strongest team - going to the Tour and certainly one of the favourites. It's exciting times."

11 user comments

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I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing G back in the Tour. Fingers crossed!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1321 posts]
17th June 2013 - 16:14

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cat1commuter wrote:
I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing G back in the Tour. Fingers crossed!

He rode well in the Dauphine. I just think the whole Wiggins thing is weird. Apparently he is training well in Majorca at the moment. What does the future hold for him? An article in the Times on Saturday was fairly coruscating of his outlook. From Brailsford position it has worked out pretty well.....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1059 posts]
17th June 2013 - 17:01

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
cat1commuter wrote:
I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing G back in the Tour. Fingers crossed!

He rode well in the Dauphine. I just think the whole Wiggins thing is weird. Apparently he is training well in Majorca at the moment. What does the future hold for him? An article in the Times on Saturday was fairly coruscating of his outlook. From Brailsford position it has worked out pretty well.....

Interesting that it was in the Times, of all papers i.e. News Corp. Lots of leaks from Sky and negativity towards Wiggins coming out in these articles - this was about the 3rd in the Times since Froome won the Dauphine. Makes you wonder about Sky's agenda re Wiggins.

Personally I'd quite like to see him move to another team next year and do well again before retiring. Stick two finders up to Brailsford.

Oh and G has to be a shoe-in for the Tour squad. He was fantastic at the Dauphine - same goes for Peter Kennaugh

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
17th June 2013 - 18:51

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Very interesting about the Brad articles, not something I had seen.
Hopefully the tour squads should start being announced soon.

I'm hoping Bernie is there for sky but not sure he will Sad

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
17th June 2013 - 20:57

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I am so glad he has finish with all that Olympics business, it was such a waste of time and he only came away with some chocolate money.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
17th June 2013 - 22:21

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Can't wait to see Froome fail at the Tour (he will fail) and Brailsford forced to backtrack re Wiggins. The Sky Train is no longer a force and Froome's TT is more than beatable. J Rod, Bertie and Evans on the podium - not fussed at the order.

posted by iamelectron [102 posts]
17th June 2013 - 22:40

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iamelectron wrote:
Can't wait to see Froome fail at the Tour (he will fail) and Brailsford forced to backtrack re Wiggins.

Blimey, what's he done to you - steal your girlfriend? Surprise

Obviously all the journalists and online betting sites are barking up the wrong tree with this loser. And Contador has got it wrong too, saying since late 2012 that Froome is his biggest threat. Doesn't know his bike racing, does he. Idiot.

All these people that have kicked Froomey's arse in time trials - who are they?

But Rodriguez, now much as I love him... time trialling with Froomey? Yeah, right.
Rolling On The Floor

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1885 posts]
17th June 2013 - 23:06

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Barring mishaps Froome should walk away with this Tour. Contador is not the same rider now that he is clean and Rodriguez will always mess up on at least one stage over the course of three weeks. Evans has the Giro in his legs and may well finish second BMC behind Van Garderen. Whatever is going on re Wiggins, this is professional sport and you are only as good as your last race. Wiggo has not been the same rider this year and his results show that.

posted by JonnieC [12 posts]
18th June 2013 - 8:11

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Bernie has to be there. Firstly, Breakfast with Bernie is a staple of the Tour; and secondly female cycling fans would start an uprising

Wink

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
18th June 2013 - 10:15

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Sam1 wrote:
secondly female cycling fans would start an uprising

Wink

Don't say that - my wife won't let me out on 'his' (my) bike anymore!!!

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
19th June 2013 - 14:56

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iamelectron wrote:
Can't wait to see Froome fail at the Tour (he will fail) and Brailsford forced to backtrack re Wiggins. The Sky Train is no longer a force and Froome's TT is more than beatable..

Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

I will leave a little space with my tea on 21st July when you serve up your humble pie...... Party

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2642 posts]
19th June 2013 - 15:14

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