Geraint Thomas welcomes ‘Grandad’ Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France underdog tip
Thomas goes into Friday’s opening stage in Copenhagen on the again of victory within the Tour de Suisse two weeks in the past. Nonetheless, he’s certainly one of three leaders of the Ineos Grenadiers – alongside Dani Martinez and Adam Yates – as they appear to tackle the likes of defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic.
Wiggins final week advised a Eurosport podcast that the 36-year-old Welshman could be an underdog this summer time however warned to “dismiss Geraint Thomas at your peril” as he backed him for a podium end.
Geraint Thomas was blissful to listen to his prospects for yellow at this 12 months’s Tour de France talked up by “Grandad Brad” Wiggins however insisted he’ll take issues as they arrive over the following three weeks.
“It’s at all times good if you hear Grandad Brad says issues like that about you,” Thomas stated of the person he gained Olympic gold alongside in 2008.
“I’m feeling good. Suisse confirmed I used to be in first rate form, so we’ll see the way it goes right here. We’ve acquired a super-strong group. The primary factor is we trip collectively, we’re aggressive collectively and we trip off one another, which is what we’ve carried out all 12 months.”
However Thomas, who adopted up his Tour victory in 2018 with second place behind team-mate Egan Bernal 12 months later, doesn’t need the strain of setting himself a selected goal, saying as an alternative it’s about getting the processes proper.
“Clearly I’ve gained the race and I’ve come second,” he stated. “I’m loads nearer to the tip of my profession now than the beginning. I’ve acquired loads of expertise and I simply need to get pleasure from these races now. Since November, Dani and Adam have been the leaders of the group and it’s nonetheless that manner.
“I’m going properly and I need to be there within the combine to assist them, and to take alternatives if they arrive. I’m fairly chilled.”
Ineos have had no reply to Pogacar since he took victory in his debut Tour in 2020, with the 23-year-old Slovenian having gained seven of the eight stage races he has began since.
That has taken some adjustment for a group who gained seven of eight editions of the Tour between 2012 and 2019, first as Staff Sky and later Ineos, however they’re hoping energy in numbers will be the reply this 12 months.
“We don’t have the favorite within the race,” Thomas stated. “Previously we at all times had (Chris) Froome, or Brad, myself or Egan, we’ve at all times had one of many massive favourites going into the beginning. Now everyone knows it’s Pogacar and Roglic who’ve been the MVPs within the final couple of years.
“We are able to’t trip it the identical manner. We are able to’t pull all day, set a tempo after which go man versus man to beat them. However we’ve acquired a robust group, we’ve acquired numbers, and hopefully we will use them at proper moments. That’s a giant change.”
Martinez is seen by many because the strongest card within the Ineos pack, although the 26-year-old continues to be comparatively inexperienced in a management position. Yates, 29, hopes to be an element too, having overcome the bout of Covid which compelled him to tug out early from the Tour de Suisse.
“I’m a lot better now,” the Lancastrian stated. “I had three or 4 days that had been fairly unhealthy to be sincere. I had correct fever and chills, it was not best. I needed to miss some key (preparation) however fortunately for me I normally handle to get match fairly shortly.
“I don’t want an excessive amount of time, however we’ll discover out within the time trial on Friday.”