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Geraint Thomas snub: British legend unleashed key Tour de France issue with Pogačar

Currently, Ineos’ Grenadier Geraint Thomas is placed third in the iconic Tour de France, as he aims to roll back the years and recapture the crown he won in 2018. The Welshman is well placed to attempt a win on the circuit, as he tries to chase down current leader Tadej Pogačar. Pogačar, who races for UAE Team Emirates, has stormed the pack in this year’s edition, and while the Slovenian aims to win his second Tour de France, Thomas is convinced there are holes in his rival’s team.

Speaking after his finished fifth in the seventh stage, Thomas said: “I think everyone senses a little vulnerability in [the Pogačar] team.

“They’re obviously still riding really well, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a few creaks in there.”

Thomas remained convinced that with still so much of the race still left to go after, the opportunities for his team will no doubt become clearer.

The 36-year-old added: “We’ve got numbers, Jumbo obviously have got numbers, there’s a lot of other good bike riders and teams in the race.

“It’s not like we’re focusing solely on Pogačar, but we’re in a good situation at the moment.”

Thomas is something of a Tour de France veteran now, and is among a plethora of Britons who have helped transform the nation’s hope in the race.

He is alongside the likes of Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, as overall winners, and multiple stage speedster Mark Cavendish.

Before this trio of overall winners, Britain never registered a victor, and so when Thomas crossed the line as the last winner from the nation, he became one of the country’s most recognisable faces.

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Even Harry Kane’s Golden Boot as England reached the semi-finals of that year’s World Cup couldn’t knock Thomas off his perch as eventual winner.

The then-Team Sky rider was the fifth cyclist to claim the award, and the fourth of that decade.

British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said: “What Geraint has achieved this year completely encapsulates what we are about – using success to inspire people to get out on their bikes.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Geraint on a brilliant year and thank him for his part in encouraging more people to cycle.”

Thomas became just the fifth Welshman to win the award, and the first since ex-Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs did in 2009.

Speaking at the time he said: “I really should have thought about what I was going to say.

“I feel very lucky to have come into cycling when I did. I just went down to the local leisure centre for a swim and instead I rode my bike.

“As a bike rider, I always focus on myself. Obviously people want me to win, but hearing stories like Tyson [Fury]’s and Billy [Monger]’s, you realise that what we do does inspire people back home.

“To see people on their bikes and enjoying it, you take just as much pride from that as winning something like this.”

Coverage of the Tour de France continues on ITV4.



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