Tour de France: Geraint Thomas turned
Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas turned the “clear” chief of Staff Sky after profitable the race’s first summit end, says team-mate Chris Froome.
Briton Thomas, 32, took the chief’s yellow jersey by profitable stage 11 at La Rosiere, earlier than claiming the next day’s stage atop Alpe d’Huez.
The Welshman retained his lead all the way in which to Paris on Sunday, with four-time winner Froome, 33, third general.
Requested if he was plan A all through the race, Thomas mentioned: “I want I used to be.”
He advised BBC Sport: “Froomey was the chief going into it however clearly I had my likelihood and I am actually glad to have taken the chance.”
Fellow Briton Froome, who gained the Tour in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, has been the chief of Staff Sky for a number of years, with Thomas amongst his assist riders.
Talking earlier than this 12 months’s Tour, Thomas mentioned Staff Sky would permit him to race as a frontrunner till a minimum of stage 9, whereas team principal Sir Dave Brailsford mentioned on Sunday that Thomas was at all times “the protected second chief”.
Regardless of trailing by one minute 39 seconds after Thomas’ back-to-back stage wins within the Alps, defending champion Froome was anticipated to problem within the Pyrenees.
Nonetheless, he pale to complete third, 2:24 down on Thomas and 33 seconds adrift of runner-up Tom Dumoulin.
“It was clear from the primary mountain-top end that ‘G’ was the stronger rider on this 12 months’s Tour de France and getting behind him was the pure factor for me to do,” Froome, who has gained six Grand Excursions, advised BBC Sport.
“I used to be stuffed with emotion being up there on the rostrum. It was very totally different this time.
“Being a team-mate and pal of Geraint’s over the previous 10 years and to be part of his journey to profitable the Tour de France has been an incredible expertise.”
‘I wish to watch breakfast TV in mattress’
Thomas confirmed his first Tour title by safely ending Sunday’s ultimate stage, linking arms with Froome as he crossed the road.
With conference dictating the yellow jersey isn’t challenged on the processional ultimate day of the three-week race, Thomas had all however wrapped up the title by ending third in Saturday’s particular person time trial, after which he cried within the arms of spouse Sara.
“It is psychological,” he mentioned. “At any time when anyone says I’ve gained the Tour de France, I’ve simply bought to pinch myself. It is going to take some time to sink in.
“I’ve possibly bought a bit extra used to it than Saturday – that was simply uncooked emotion. I would by no means thought in regards to the final result; it was simply in regards to the course of and never getting carried away.
“To out of the blue then realise I would gained, I did not know the best way to react and all of it simply got here pouring out. It is simply insane. It is loopy.”
Thomas mentioned he didn’t assume the Tour win would “change” him and is “wanting ahead to getting again residence and celebrating with everybody”.
He added: “On the identical time I am wanting ahead to a little bit of normality as effectively, like watching breakfast TV in mattress with a espresso and having some toast on the couch with Sara – easy issues.”