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Staying alert, and the question of 2012 Tour and Olympics

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Geraint Thomas | 10:22 UK time, Friday, 15 July 2011

Well what a day yesterday was! It’s one thing climbing those mountains in the Tour anyway, but at the front going up the Tourmalet was just amazing.

The buzz from the crowd was unbelievable. There was so many GB and Welsh flags out there, I’d just like to say thanks for the support. It really means a lot to the whole team.

Today is a lot shorter with only the one HC climb. A breakaway is likely to succeed so we will hopefully get Eddie or Gerro up there.

I will be there along with Flecha and Swift, at the front to help them out. Basically, if the break looks to be going, I will attack to keep the bunch moving and the attacks flowing. Or just try and ride the group back up. It helps having everyone there to help the guys make the break but it is still hard. Especially on a day like today when everybody knows it is likely to succeed.

Once the break is gone, we will ‘chill’ as much as possible a save our energy for the climb. By ‘chilling’ we will still be concentrating.

The only time we would be able to switch off totally is at the end of the stage when in the gruppetto.

Even then, we are tired and just looking at the wheel in front, not much sightseeing. The rest of the time, we have to be alert.

This is one of the most tiring aspects of the Tour, in the first week especially. With so many crashes and wind changes etc we constantly have to be aware of what is happening and ‘switched on’. Cav has said this is the most tiring part of the race and I’d have to agree!

Speaking of Cav, he is having another amazing tour. It's crazy the situation he is in now. If he wins by a wheel, "Oh, Cav is struggling". Or even worse, if he gets beaten: "Oh, what’s wrong with Cav?".

I guess that’s the price you pay for being the fastest guy in the world. It's good to see him winning though, albeit in a rival team. We’re good mates at the end of the day, and both British.

There are also a lot of rumours and stories of whether I will miss the Tour next year because of the Olympics.

The way the Team Pursuit is these days, I think you need a lot more time on the track to adapt and really get up to speed.

There’s talk of me doing a few tests after the Tour to see how I have coped.

At the minute, I am unsure of what I will do. Obviously I love racing here at the Tour and would love to do it again. But on the other hand I don’t want to risk losing at the Olympics, especially in London. For now though I have stage 13 of this year's race to worry about.


  • Comment number 1.

    Valiant effort Geraint!

    Must be a little dishearteneing after all that effort to be caught so close to the finish. I'm sure a stage win is only a matter of time.

  • Comment number 2.

    Sensational ride yesterday, Geraint - like many others I was willing you on up the Tourmalet (with Sky remote in one hand, beer in the other, but very much with you all the way!)

    Here in the UK, there are many many Tour addicts who are keeping up with it via the internet at work during the day and risking their marriages to watch the Eurosport coverage in full when they get home. Big credit for this surge in interest goes to you, Cav, Brad and the Sky team for putting on such a great show.

    Best of luck for the rest of the Tour, mate.

    One question - is A Schleck still a favourite to win, using his brother to really test the main rivals yesterday or is it actually Frank's to win this year?

  • Comment number 3.

    Great to watch your efforts yesterday Geraint. If I'm honest, I was expecting you to be caught earlier than you were bearing in mind some of the names in the chasing pack/s.

    Curious to know the impact of a break like that on you, especially in terms of how much it restricts your options on subsequent days, mountain stages in particular. When you put such an effort in on a really challenging stage liek that, are you effectively writing off the chances of an attempt at a stage win in the coming days? Does it all depend on how you feel in the morning or would it be risky for you to give it another go today even if you did feel up for it?

    Look forward to your response. Either way, all the best for the rest of the Tour.

  • Comment number 4.

    Geriant. I watch the whole stage on ITV yesterday afternoon, Screaming: Come G, keep going almost there!!

    Yeah, I agree Cav is doing amazing as always this year. GB winners in the Green and White jerseys this year, Hopefully.

    Proud of what you done so far, keep it up! One day hopefully after some training hopefully I can be riding the Tour de France. :)

  • Comment number 5.

    How scary was it going down those hills on stage 12?

  • Comment number 6.

    Much as it was a complete disaster to lose Brad, for us fans watching on TV or online, it's refreshing to see how much his retirment has "released" the rest of you from your shackles and allowed you to seemingly attack at will.

    Flecha seems to have just been constantly attacking since Brad retired, (trying not to think of the crash every time I hear his name), and you certainly laid down you marker with a hell of an attack yesterday, (I thought the big lads were meant to struggle in the mountains?) You look considerably bigger, (than the likes of Brad for example), and maybe built more for sprinting than climbing. Is this something that you are going to have to look at in future like Brad has done or do you see yourself as a rider more in the liked of a Gilbert who can turn his hand to a range of challenges and where size and power is an advantage?

    I am sure I am not alone when I say that my heart was in my mouth today when you first went off-course on the descent. Was that a big drop on the other side after the little verge that you dived onto? I notice that they had plugged that gap with a car by the time Voekler and the peleton came through.

    Keep up the goo work G and maybe tell us a little more about some of the lesser known guys in the team in one of your future blogs.

    Eddie and Swifty are sprinters, (albeit of differnt types), Flecha likes playing chicken with cars, Uran is a climber, we've seen Zandio attacking already, but what about Gerrans & Knees?

    ps. Renshaw is using you as part of Cav's train when they are running short of numbers, (as I'm sure you know). lol

    I am guessing that we might see Uran attack big today? (fingers crossed).

  • Comment number 7.

    Fantastic effort from Geraint yesterday, keep up the hard work and effort and you will reap the rewards in the future.
    Absolutly loving the tour this year the crashes have added to the drama along with a slighly under par Contador.
    Anyway as David Harmon of Eurosport would say Geraint, Chapeau son chapeau!

  • Comment number 8.

    Interesting read as ever G - glad to see you putting yourself in a position to win stages. How full is that suitcase of courage!

    Great work fellas - and chasing Legends on sunday is a must watch for anyone who missed it.

    Loving the tour coverage on ITV4 on freeview - surprised no one ever seems to mention it - only the paytv coverage gets a mention - strange that.

  • Comment number 9.

    Great read G, a real insight into the tour.
    One thing I've noticed this year is when Cav loses his leadout train (or they are burned out early with some of the uphill finishes) he seems to latch onto your back wheel if you're up the front (in fact in one interview he thought you were Bradley!). Do you keep an eye on who's around you much in those situations? Or are you just too focused on the line to look behind you?
    Best of luck with the rest of the tour and keep up the really good blog.

  • Comment number 10.

    Chapeau G!!

    Great to see you give it a go yesterday.Hope the legs are ok to give it another bash later in the tour.

    Good luck and keep going!!

  • Comment number 11.

    Brilliant stuff yesterday Geraint, great effort and congratulations on the combativity award - very well deserved. Although you must be slightly gutted about missing out on the £5k prize! Did you put in too much too early, or was it just one of those things? Brilliant performance when you helped EBH to his win by the way.

    Thought Europcar did a tremendous job yesterday too, Voeckler has been as brilliant as ever and the lad that rode at the front all day for them was unbelievable. Cav as sensational as ever too, some amazing efforts so far. Feel sorry for Contador but his misfortune / injury / poor form is making for a great tour!

  • Comment number 12.

    Excellent ride yesterday Geraint....was brilliant to watch you leading the way up the Tourmalet.

    Hey live text today?

  • Comment number 13.

    No live text today because the journo's are on strike at job losses. I hope they're successful, they have my support as a fellow NUJ man.

  • Comment number 14.

    Top stuff yesterday G, somebody should have gotten on the Rdaio to tell you there was 5k to be bagged, I bet that would have put a spring in your step to get over the top first. Still gutted for Wiggins, the way it is panning out this year he could have been the rider to take it by the scruff of the neck instead of all the shadow boxing we have going on now.

    Next year ill be one of the nearly middle aged dreamers nearly killing myself to get to the top in L'Etape, after watching yesterday I have realised I must be mad to even consider it..... but as they say, if it is not hard, it is not worth it, cant wait.

    Top one G, it was a real pleasure to watch.

  • Comment number 15.

    ah ok thnx Cynicall_Sid.

    they seem to have reporters at the "fat blokes hit little white balls championship" though

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic ride Thursday! Haven't cheered so much since Wales' Grand Slam. Surprised you didn't win as urging you on so much from over here in Blighty via internet. So impressed we're coming over Sunday to cheer you on for real up Galibier!! I might have to ride up to top myself if road closed by time we get there, hope not as it's been over 25 years since I raced (was in Archer RC same as Sean & Wiggo - knew both of their dads, which makes me old - raced with Gary).
    So G-up G keep doing your stuff, Cymru am byth Roger Knight

  • Comment number 17.

    Was a really nice ride yesterday! This is only the second tour i have watched and its been really great so far! shame about bradley but you and the rest of team really stepped up!

  • Comment number 18.

    Great ride yesterday G. Hope you didn't suffer too much for it today.

    In a few years time do you fancy trying the Wiggins formula and seeing what happens if you drop your racing weight by a few pounds? You seem to be aiming at the classics/TT mould at the moment, but you don't seem to be far off the top climbers either. Yesterday must have given you a lot of confidence and a little food for thought?

  • Comment number 19.

    8.At 13:15 15th Jul 2011, SparkyJay23 wrote:
    Interesting read as ever G - glad to see you putting yourself in a position to win stages. How full is that suitcase of courage!

    Great work fellas - and chasing Legends on sunday is a must watch for anyone who missed it.

    Loving the tour coverage on ITV4 on freeview - surprised no one ever seems to mention it - only the paytv coverage gets a mention - strange that.

    Is this a joke? The ITV4 coverage is absolultely woeful. Have watched it twice and was back to Eurosport within 10mins.

  • Comment number 20.

    Must admit that I think the ITV4 coverage is pretty good too and I am loving it. :)

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi G. Your exploits are keeping us all entertained and I can't believe you didn't hit that car on the descent the other day! We are all right behind you because, let's face it, we'll never be in front of you!

    I see you are doing an event in August where, I believe, we can join you for a ride? Can you tell me where I can find out more information as I'd love to have the opportunity to ride with you - especially in Flanders, the home of the cobbles!

    Good luck for the rest of the tour

  • Comment number 23.

    Thanks AlbaMale. Yeah it is not the best feeling but at the same time it was great to be in the racing on a mountain stage. Hope the stage win isn’t far away as well.

    Tiddler27 I think Evans is the favourite at the minute unless the Schlecks can gain some time before the TT. I also think Andy rides a lot better when Frank isn’t racing.

    Deep-heat. it definitely effects you the next day. Well it affected me anyway, I didn’t feel like I’d get dropped but I won’t have had the legs to go up the road again. After a day though I felt a lot better and was able to get stuck in again

    Alex, it was scary when I almost went over the edge but other than that it was just like usual.

    I just want to keep improving and learning. I can do well in the Classics now. I want to continue to work on my climbing etc and maybe one day be a GC contender. Time will tell…

    Henry Ashman, Yeah you have you keep an eye out for who’s in front of you. If you are leading someone out then you have to check from time to time. But if you are going for it yourself then its just who is in front I guess.

    Stevie_bhoy, I actually waited for Roy as I could see him coming back up. I didn’t know about the £5k prize at the top which was slightly annoying but there we go.

    Redeye as I’ve said before I’d love to go for it. I will just work on improving my climbing and TT ing and see where I end up. But for sure, the Classics is something that I would love to win one day.

    Cobblemeister you can find all the info on my website (link on the right of this page).

  • Comment number 24.

    Good news about signing a new deal with Sky.I think you can become a real star Geraint,I see you having a lot in common with Gilbert.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Mr. Geraint Thomas. Have read that you are now part of SKY'S TEAM, best news I have read for some time, There is something a blowing in the wind, as I do expect that your close friend Mr. Mark Cavendish COULD be part of this team, that is going to be second to none. I look forward to the day, as many will, to see Mr.Bradley Wiggins, a young and fearless Welshman called Geraint, and Mark all lined up to take on the worlds best, COME ON THE LADS
    any remarks? Mr. G

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks jacksofbuxton, it's great to sign for the team for three years and hopefully I can progress and be a rider like Gilbert, or somebody like that. They're the best in the world, so to develop into a rider like that and be able to win stages and classics would be amazing.

    Hi jako, I think the whole Cav situation is still up in the air at the minute but I think it would be great to have him in the team. He's a good mate of mine, I grew up in the Academy with him and I know him really well. He's the best sprinter in the world, so to lead him out in the Tour and the biggest bike races in the world would be amazing if that happened.


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