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
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."