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Thomas set to start Tour de France on equal footing with Froome

Team Sky happy to let Thomas be 'backup guy' until at least first rest day

Joe Robinson
29 Jun 2018

Geraint Thomas will head to next weekend's Tour de France Grand Depart in the Vendee Region not as super domestique to defending champion Chris Froome but as a viable option for the yellow jersey.

In an interview with BBC Sport, the newly crowned Time Trial National Champion commented that the team believes his form is so good that he has earned the right to contest the leadership with Froome, at least until the first rest day after Stage 9 to Roubaix.

'The team have said that with the way I've been riding they're confident to give me that role of a backup guy and to race at least until the first rest day,' Thomas said.

'We'll go from there then and hopefully have two cards to play. I think the longer that both of us are up there it gives the team two options.'

Thomas is in a rich vein of form currently having taken a maiden national TT title in comfortable fashion yesterday evening adding to the Criterium du Dauphine title he took earlier this month.

Finishing 37 seconds ahead of Harry Tanfield in second place, the 32-year-old showed that he could be in the kind of condition needed to contest the Tour.

Victory at the Dauphine also tends to bode well for British GC riders' chances at the Tour. Both Bradley Wiggins and Froome rode to victory at the French one-week race before securing their first Tour titles in the same year.

The condition of teammate Froome will be somewhat of an unkown after racing and winning the Giro d'Italia in May. It is often believed that being able to double up on both Grand Tours is virtually impossible in modern cycling with their close proximity.

The last time that a rider managed the Tour-Giro double was 20-years ago: Marco Pantani in 1998.

If Froome was to fade with fatigue, Thomas will be hoping to fill the four-time champion's shoes in the quest for yellow, although even another day in yellow would do for the Cardiff-born rider.

Thomas won the opening day's time trial at last year's race taking his maiden yellow jersey before holding it until Stage 5 to La Planche des Belles Filles.

'I'd love to wear the jersey again,' he said. 'If I could wear it for a bit longer that would be amazing. It's just an amazing feeling.'

The 2018 Tour de France kicks off in the Vendee Region of France on Saturday 7th July. For the start list, route and TV guide, head to Cyclist guide the here.