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“For myself, it's pretty chilled. It's about riding my way into it and trying to come out of it good, not feeling completely empty, rather than trying to hang onto Tour form and then tailing off," 

Photo: A.S.O.

GERAINT THOMAS

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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22.08.2015 @ 19:10 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After riding amazingly for 18 stages of the Tour de France, Geraint Thomas has had his appetite to lead Team Sky in a Grand Tour significantly whetted. But for now, he remains a domestique, once more working fro Chris Froome at the Vuelta a Espana, his first time racing the Spanish Grand Tour.

 

"I know I can do that now. It gave me a huge amount of confidence, and the belief that I can do that. I did a hell of a lot of work from day one really, and to still be there on stage 19, where it all sort of fell away, it gave me that belief and confidence that I can actually perform in those races now," said Thomas about his Tour de France, catching up with Cyclingnews ahead of the Vuelta a España.

 

It was also a climber's race – there wasn't a time trial or anything really – so it was really encouraging. If I hadn't had to do that extra work, and concentrated on myself it might have been a different story coming into the final few days."

 

"It certainly opened my eyes – I'm looking forward to the next few years," he added, with a subtle hint as to the trajectory we can expect his career to take.

 

Thomas faded on stage 19 and eventually finished 15th overall, still a good result and by far his best in a Grand Tour. But he says he won’t be doing the same in Spain, as he hasn’t had ideal preparation for the race.

 

"I was pretty tired at the end of the Tour that's for sure," he said. "I had maybe five days off but three of those nights were on my stag so I wouldn't say they were ideal rest. That was a really good few days but it kind of took more out of me than the race! Then I went straight from there to a crit on the Friday, and then on the Sunday. By Monday, eight days after the Tour, I was a broken man!"

 

“For myself, it's pretty chilled. It's about riding my way into it and trying to come out of it good, not feeling completely empty, rather than trying to hang onto Tour form and then tailing off," Thomas told Cyclingnews.

 

However, the Welshman still has some personal ambitions for the race, as he looks to win his first ever Grand Tour stage.

 

“Towards the back end of the race I'll hopefully look for an opportunity for myself – it would be really good to try and do that. A lot depends on how the race is going and has gone to that point. Ideally I'd want to be stronger in the back end of it and look to try and go in a break or something.”

 

Thomas may not lead Sky at a Grand Tour until 2017, as he wants to help Froome win the Tour again in 2016 and then he wants to lead Great Britain in the Olympics, meaning it is hard to peak for that period and again for either the Giro or Vuelta. This means Leopold Konig is likely to lead at one Grand Tour, and perhaps Michal Kwiatkowski and/or Mikel Landa at another, should their transfers to Sky be confirmed and not just rumours.

 

“It's complicated because obviously I want to do the Tour again, then the Olympics are straight after, then the Vuelta would be a bit too much. Mentally it would be hard to do all that and then come to the Vuelta in top shape."

 

"If I rode the Giro then did the Tour, then the end of the Tour and the Olympics might not be the best. It's a difficult one, but I guess it's one I'll talk to the team about over the next few months."

 

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