Brailsford full of praise for Thomas

28 Jul 2018

Brailsford full of praise for Thomas

Related riders

Share this article

Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford has paid tribute to Geraint Thomas with the Welshman now on the brink of Tour de France victory.

An emotional Brailsford watched Thomas cross the line with his arms aloft in Espelette, all but ensuring Team Sky take home a sixth Tour de France victory in seven years. 

With Thomas becoming the third British rider to achieve that following Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, Brailsford has been there from the very start.

Despite taking a handsome advantage into the final 31-kilometre time trial, Brailsford knew Thomas had the experience and nerve to overcome any last-minute jitters.

He explained: "We talked about how he’s ridden in big Olympic finals, and it’s a similar type of day. You have to keep focused on the process and don’t let your mind wander [thinking] ‘what happens if I win, what happens if I lose, what happens if I crash, what happens if it rains, what happens if it doesn’t? What are my competitors going to do?
"And all you can do is focus on the process and he’s done that over years and years and years And I think those years of experience is what he had to bring to the table today," he told Eurosport.

"I think he was nervous. There’s always going to be a performance anxiety at these events at this level - everyone has it, it’s just human - and it’s how you manage it [which is key]. He’s managed it superbly.

"He's shown he was the strongest rider in the race and it was highly improbably he wasn't going to be as strong as them today, so as long as he stayed on his bike he was pretty safe."
Sir Dave Brailsford

Sir Dave Brailsford

He's shown he was the strongest rider in the race and it was highly improbably he wasn't going to be as strong as them today.

Brailsford was also full of praise for Froome, whose never say die attitude saw him climb back onto the overall podium following the time trial.
Arriving off the back of victory at the Giro d'Italia, Brailsford summed up Froome's performance. He added: “He came here to win, and it hasn’t quite gone his way. There was a moment a few days ago when I think he realised in the race that he wasn’t going to win. 
“You know, a guy who has won as much as he’s won - he won the Giro, he came to win this race - it would have been pretty normal for a performer of his level to have a little moment.
"And to be fair, his reaction was that he realised [he was struggling] and went straight on the front to help Geraint. That’s rare. I know a lot of top cyclists, top performers in the world and that’s rare what you saw there and I think that sums him up. 
"I think to have the class to do that in a minute when he was most challenged, means you can see into the heart of the guy, into his soul and see what he’s all about.
“In many ways, getting onto the podium, doing what he did - he comes out of this a titan.
“Geraint will be a legend in Wales and in Britain now that’s for sure , but Chris is a titan, there’s not everybody who can do that."

Clearly emotionally with Thomas atop the podium, Brailsford summed up his role in helping to produce another Tour de France-winning British rider.
He added: "Our jobs behind the scenes are to make other people’s dreams come true. You try and support other people to do incredible things, have incredible careers and to perform optimally and to provide a bit of support for them to achieve their dreams is why we do it. 
"It’s a very powerful and very rewarding thing to be involved in and Chris has achieved many of his dreams and then to see Geraint achieve his in this particular race is quite moving."

Share this article