With Chris Froome’s participation in the Tour de France still the subject of some doubt, Geraint Thomas has said that it would be ‘an honour’ to lead Team Sky in his stead, were that situation to come about.
It was recently revealed that the case resulting from Froome’s adverse analytical finding for Salbutamol at last year’s Vuelta a Espana is likely to rumble on beyond this year’s Tour de France.
ASO is said to believe that the wording of its rules would enable it to exclude Froome from the race, while the UCI has also floated the possibility of a provisional ban.
Asked whether he was ready to lead the team should Froome fail to take part, Thomas told the BBC’s Bespoke podcast: “I’d love to. Of course. The shape is pretty good at the minute and I’m sort of building up nicely to the Tour. All being well I’ll be in the best shape possible and yeah I’d love to.
“Sky have obviously had a lot of success in the Tour recently with winning five of the last six maybe, so yeah, it would be an incredible honour to lead the team.”
As for whether he’s actively planning to be team leader, Thomas says that it wouldn’t really involve doing anything differently.
“The main thing for me is to just get there in the best shape possible. Do everything right up to the start of the Tour and study the route, just so I know everything that’s coming up.
“Yeah and have the mindset of trying to get the best result possible and what will be with the rest of it – with Froomey and things – it's just about trying to put that to the back of my mind really."
Thomas will race Paris-Roubaix this weekend and Liege-Bastogne-Liege a couple of weeks later, but he says that stage races, and specifically Grand Tours, are his main focus for now.
“I had a taste of it last year, wearing the yellow jersey for four days during the Tour and it was just an amazing feeling. I just want to see how far I can take that really.”
He does however want to return his attention to one-day racing eventually.
"There is still a lot of time to go back to the classics – I'll have a couple more years stage racing and go back into a full-blown classics season hopefully.