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Geraint Thomas hopeful road will decide Team Ineos's Tour de France leader

Joe Robinson
24 Jun 2020

Welshman also 'not thinking about' Froome mid-season transfer rumours

Previous Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas believes that merit will determine the eventual leader of Team Ineos in France and that contract speculation and transfer rumours will not affect the team's performance.

The Welshman is preparing to co-lead Team Ineos for this summer's rearranged Tour alongside defending champion Egan Bernal and four-time winner Chris Froome.

All three have been promised leadership by the team's management with both Bernal and Froome publicly revealing their ambitions for another yellow jersey.

While this embarrassment of riches would cause headaches among other teams, Thomas believes that Team Ineos's leadership will be decided in a meritocratic fashion that all three riders would accept.

'For me, it's the same as always. Try to get there in the best shape possible and, if one of the boys is better than me, then that's the job we're in and you do what you can and you've got to help them - and vice versa,' Thomas told the BBC.

'That's going to start up again and it's been bubbling away for the last few months anyway – contracts, this and that, who's going where and team dynamics and stuff. Hopefully, once we start racing, we can forget about everything else.

'I think everyone will get their fair chance because I think everyone can have a bad day and that doesn't mean their Tour is suddenly over.'

Thomas would have been meeting up with his Ineos teammates this week in Nice for the start of the Tour, however, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed back this year's race to the end of August.

The rescheduled season has also opened up the opportunity of a mid-season transfer for Thomas's teammate Froome, with rumours circulating that the seven-time Grand Tour champion could be heading to Israel Start-Up Nation to ensure sole leadership in France this summer.

It has been reported that Israel Start-Up are willing to bring Froome across on a three-year deal worth €15 million. If that did materialise, it would obviously have a huge bearing on Team Ineos at this year's Tour and Thomas who, while appreciates he the enormity of Froome potentially leaving, is unwilling to let it affect his own performances.

'It does affect me indirectly but, at the same time, I'm not sat in bed at night thinking about that,' Thomas commented.

'I've been a teammate of his since 2008 so obviously it would be nice to continue that. We get on well, we work well with each other, we're honest with each other – brutally honest sometimes. But what will be will be and I just leave that to him, and just worry about going up the next hill as quick as I can.'

The 34-year-old will restart the 2020 season at the lowkey Tour de L'Ain on 7th August before heading to the now-shortened Criterium du Dauphine on 12th August. After which he will head to the Tour, the last race on his calendar to have been confirmed so far.