Perfect 10 for Thomas

16 Jul 2019

Perfect 10 for Thomas

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Geraint Thomas is pleased with Team INEOS’ start to the Tour de France and is confident, but cautious of his chances of winning a second Grand Tour.

A fantastic team performance in stage 10’s crosswinds moved Thomas up to second overall, with teammate Egan Bernal now third and leading the best young rider classification.
 
And while the 2018 Tour de France winner was delighted to have made significant gains on a number of his general classification rivals, the Welshman still trails race leader Julian Alaphilippe by 1’12” ahead of the race re-commencing on Wednesday in Albi, and reckons the next week of racing will be crucial. 
 
He said: “We feel we’re in a strong position, a combination of everything coming together has helped us get to this point at the first rest day. We’ve made a great start, but we’re fully aware that there’s still plenty of racing left.
 
“To have gained time on our GC contenders is massive and a really good bonus - but now the really tough stages start. It’s been a great 10 days. It would be better if we were a couple of seconds behind Alaphilippe, but we’re pleased with how we’ve fared so far.
 
“We’ll know a lot more about Alaphilippe after the second rest day, but he’s rode a great race so far. We’ll see how he goes, it’s an unknown for him as well, so it’ll be an interesting second week.”
Thomas' teammates prevented him losing time in the closing stages of stage eight

Thomas' teammates prevented him losing time in the closing stages of stage eight

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

We’ve got huge Grand Tour experience in this team, so we won’t allow ourselves to become complacent."
The team’s work ethic and cohesion were displayed on the final stage before the rest day, when they combined well in the crosswinds to split the peloton, but also on stage eight when they came together to ensure an ill-timed crash in the final 15 kilometres for Thomas did not affect his overall standing.
 
And the Welshman believes it is the Grand Tour experience of the Team INEOS lineup which has been crucial in navigating the tricky start to the race.
 
He added: “We’ve got huge Grand Tour experience in this team, so we won’t allow ourselves to become complacent - we’ll just focus on each stage and give ourselves the best possible chance of winning when we get to Paris. I’m not feeling any extra pressure this year.
 
“I’m enjoying the race so far though, it’s been a good opening block of racing for the team and the support we’ve had has made it even more enjoyable.
 
“We’ve got a lot of winning experience on this team, the guys know what it takes to get over the winning line at the Tour - that experience is massively important in a race like this. We are always prepared for this race - we have one goal. Other teams go for stage wins, but our only goal is to try and win the Tour.”
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Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford echoed Thomas’ sentiment about the opening 10 stages of the 2019 Tour de France and hailed the team’s efforts which helped Thomas and Bernal move up the general classification.  
 
He said: “We'll continue to do what we’ve been doing so far. To be at this point in the race, second and third overall on GC, is probably the best it could get for us really. The way the guys have handled themselves and the way the team have approached the first 10 days of racing will be the way we continue - I’m confident it will continue to work well from here.
 
“This feels like one of the most positive Tour de France races since we started, in terms of the support we’ve received. We’ve had nothing but positive support since the start of this year's race. We love France. We love the Tour. We love the passion – it’s what makes this race so special. We’re all really enjoying it.”

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