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From parks and pavements to the Tour de France

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Geraint Thomas | 11:06 UK time, Friday, 1 July 2011

So here we go, the Tour de France 2011. The biggest bike race in the world is about to kick off. I will be lining up with one of my best mates, Ben Swift, which will be weird to say the least! We grew up together racing in parks and on pavements all over the UK.

 I’m really looking forward to the racing now though. There’s been a lot of talk and build-up to this year’s race and so it will be great to just get going.

For me, the Team Time Trial is the stage I am most excited about. I love them, they are very similar to the Team Pursuit on the track, albeit quite a bit longer.  Obviously the TTT is a ‘big hit’ for a lot of teams as the yellow jersey could be on the line.

Basically, if there is a bunch sprint the day before (stage 1) then most of the riders will be on the same time.

This means whichever team wins the TTT will also take the jersey. Exciting stuff, no?!

Especially because we are in with a real chance. Usually the team leader would cross the line first, so wear the yellow jersey.

 I am still young enough to qualify for the young rider's jersey which I wore last year. It isn’t something that I’m thinking about though. I will have the same approach as last year, if it happens, it will be great and a massive bonus. It was amazing wearing that white jersey last year! Stepping onto the podium after each stage was something I had only dreamt of before. Just putting the jersey on in  the morning would make me feel good. Then I’d start each stage at the front next to Fabien who was in yellow as we rolled away.

As I said though, I am not thinking of myself. The team has a massive opportunity to do great things in the overall competition so I will be saving all my energy to help achieve this. At the start of each stage we will all have our individual jobs. On the flat days I will probably have to sit with Brad all day, probably with one other.

I will be there to shelter him from the wind and keep him in a good position, in case the race splits in crosswinds. I will also stop when he stops, ie, with a puncture or a ‘call of nature’. Other guys will then be on bottle runs to and from the car. Others will be on ‘early doors’, which means they will either be trying to get in the breakaway or making sure the ‘right’ break goes with only a couple of riders there. It all depends on the tactics for the day i.e. if a sprint is likely or not. Basically we want to get Brad to the finish as fresh as possible, so he saves himself for the selection in the mountains.

 I’m actually kind of looking forward to the mountains as well. There’s always a great atmosphere, and a few crazy outfits to keep the gruppetto amused. The Dutch and the Basques stand out as being the loudest and most enthusiastic, or maybe just the most drunk. However, the Brits and Norwegians are catching up!

There’s a different approach to mountain stages. Each rider will have their own ‘finish line’ on the stage. Basically, we take turns to set the pace for Brad up the hill - then drop back when we've reached our personal 'finish line.'

The better the climber, the longer they will have to stay near Brad. Once we’ve completed our job, we’ll find a group to ride with and take it as easy as possible. Conserving energy is important, especially over a 3 week race around France!

I also enjoy the time trial days. They usually start later in the afternoon than the normal road stages meaning a bit of a lie-in which is always nice. A lot of guys use it as a rest day and ride around making sure they make the time cut, which is usually around 15% of the winner's time. Time trialling  is something that I want to continue to improve in, so the more I do ‘flat out’ the better, no rest day for me then…

Although it's going to be a busy few weeks, I'll do my best to answer as many of your comments and questions as possible.

 

 

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Good luck to you and the Sky boys this tour Geraint.Good chance of pinching a stage win in the first week for you as well,as they're not all easy sprint finishes.

    Be nice to see Bradley on the podium as well,plus a good chance for the team award this year.

    On a personal note I'd like to see Cadel Evans give it a real go this year as well.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great blog, Geraint. Really interesting to hear about the team plan for individual stages - I watch quite a bit of the grand tours on eurosport and the complexity of cycling is so much more than it can appear on first viewing.
    All the best for the tour to you and the Sky boys.
    My question - does the route this year, and a year to reflect on what happened last year, mean that Andy Schleck is odds-on favourite for the overall win, or does he lack the killer instinct of previous Tour winners?

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks Geraint, good luck to you and all the other Brits - Cav, Brad and especially TeamSky in general and lets hope we have a succesfull Brits tour this year.

  • Comment number 4.

    It is obvious what the Sky Team tatics will be. Brad will go all out in the time trail on the second day, taking first or second place, the next 5 days will be to stay in the main group on the flat and finally try and keep within the leaders in the mountains until the final time trail where he will make up his defecit or maintain his lead.

    I'm more of a Cav fan and this blog clearly shows why sky would be the wrong place for him to go

  • Comment number 5.

    Nice post, G, and good luck to you and the rest of the team!

    mpjacko, don't know about the post showing Sky to be the wrong place for Cav - if Brad is wanting to stay out of trouble, he's better off doing that near the front, so the job of protecting Cav as well wouldn't necessarily be that much extra work. However, Sky will have to show they can boss a leadout train consistently for Swifty in France this year, otherwise it all becomes a moot point anyway, as Cav just won't be interested if he hasn't a hope of being in the right place with 200m to go.

  • Comment number 6.

    Great blog, G.

    Can't wait for the TdF to get going over the weekend.

    I have one question: What is the Team Sky target this year? Brad in the Top 10? Or is the podium a genuine ambition?

    Surely Ben will get close to a stage win at some point? Would love to see that!

  • Comment number 7.

    Good luck G, and to all your teammates too.

    Just a quick question, are you going to try to get in the breakaway on one of the stages?

  • Comment number 8.

    Good luck G, would be great to see Team Sky on the podium on Sunday - fancy Swifty for a stage at some point as well.

    http://thebigblogofsport.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/the-long-road-to-paris/

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks jacksofbuxton Hopefully it will be a good tour and give you guys something to cheer about!! Although I wouldn't put any money on us winning the team prize because once our job is done, it's done. We'll sit up and take it easy for tomorrow.

    tiddler27 thanks. This route definitely favours the climbers, so Schleck is a favourite along with Contador for sure!! There's still a question mark on how Contador will be after such a hard Giro, but to me he seemed in control the whole race so should still be good here. If he had to dig deep a few stages to defend the jersey then it could be different.

    Thanks Hawkins!!

    Well sorry mpjacko but I don't understand what is wrong with those tactics. Plenty of guys in the past have ridden the tour like that. Ullrich, Evans etc surely you play to your strengths no?? What is the point of Brad attacking Contador or Schleck in the high mountains, then blow up?? If he made it onto the podium in Paris riding like that I don't think anybody would care.

    nic_run2 I don't think we have anything to prove in the lead out. We have already done and won some good sprints. Tour Down Under, Kuurne, Paris Nice, Romandie, Bayern to name a few... We don't really have a lead out train here. The main object is Brad and the GC, so that will be our priority. Obviously if Swifty is sprinting or Eddie, I will be there to help but I don't think we can line the team up with 4km to go and take on HTC.

    Hi Steven, sorry to disappoint but we haven't put a number on it. It's just a matter of everyone doing their job the best they can and then see where that gets us.

    I don't see why Swifty can't get close but he's still young. He'd also be the first to admit that he's not a 'proper' sprinter. It also depends how much support he gets. But I'm sure he'll put up a good fight and get a result or 2 along the way.

    I'm not sure really. It's a long race and a lot can happen. Obviously if I get a chance I would love to take it. I'm just taking it day by day though. It's too long and hard to think too far ahead.


  • Comment number 10.

    Excellent blog Geraint. Hope you enjoy the Tour and come away feeling you've done yourself justice.

    Do you personally have a plan of how you want to develop as a cyclist? Would you eventually like to have a serious tilt at a jersey, or would you want to become known as one of the very best right-hand-men in the business and be the critical support to someone like Brad?

  • Comment number 11.

    Good luck to all the riders. looking forward to saturday and watching you go out there and make us all proud live on the TV.

  • Comment number 12.

    Good luck to you and all the team. I know it hasn't started yet but chapeau!

  • Comment number 13.

    Good luck to you and all the other Brits involved this year. As a long time TdF follower, it's great to have so many Brit riders to follow.

    You sure you don't fancy a dig for tomorrows stage? Gilbert must be the favourite to get the first yellow jersey, but I reckon it could suit you pretty well too, and with the TTT the day after, who knows...

  • Comment number 14.

    Great ride and congratulations on the white jersey, must be getting rather used to it. How long do you think you can hold onto it/what are the chances of upgrading to yellow after the TTT tomorrow?

  • Comment number 15.

    Amo78 - The classics are something I love and in the short term for sure something I want to do well in!! But I obviously just want to keep developing as a rider. If I could become a GC rider great, if not then a great domestique or the likes of Brad. Until then who knows...

    Thanks sparkyJay23 and Farren, hopefully we can do you proud and give you all something to cheer about!!

    Good prediction redeye!! I wasn't in the best position and lost a bit of ground in the final crash but the legs were good. We'll give it everything tomorrow!! Hopefully that will be enough for the win

  • Comment number 16.

    Wow, I was shouting at the tele cheering you on. Well done G. I hope you can get the yellow tomorrow.
    I'm hoping to get permission off the Mrs to come on your De Ronde trip. Are there any places left??
    Thanks
    Mark.

  • Comment number 17.

    Great job guys!

    White today and Yellow tomorrow :)

  • Comment number 18.

    Great job today Geraint, well done.
    As Redeye wrote, as a long time TdF watcher it's fantastic to have so many - & such top quality - Brits to follow. It makes a change from the days when it was just Sean Yates.
    Just one little criticism G - I think you are being too modest about your accomplishments so far & your talent! so I'm definitely looking for you in yellow tomorrow...
    Best of luck for then & the next 3 weeks.

  • Comment number 19.

    Excellent blog, Geraint - and a good Stage One - well done on both!

    I'm pleased to see the TTT back on the agenda this year - will be sitting here 200 km south of year, watching it. Even more interest this year with Team Sky and so many British riders in the Tour - is it a record number?

    Andy

  • Comment number 20.

    Thanks YellowJersey. It was a good day!! And yes I think there are still a few places left so I'd get working on the Mrs pretty sharpish) Check out http://www.geraintthomas.com/derondeexperience for more information.

    Thanks SparkyJay23 and declanUKUSA. Hopefully we can put in a good ride this afternoon. I'm not thinking about yellow to be honest. Obviously it would be amazing, well better than amazing!! But if we just concentrate on doing the best TTT possible then hopefully that will be enough. Time will tell though.

    Thanks Andy. I'm not sure if it's a record number as there was a lot of Brits in 2007 but it is definitely the strongest group of Brits so far - with all of us capable of getting up there and 2 in with a shout of being on the podium in Paris. Great isn't it? Let's hope it can continue.

  • Comment number 21.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Geraint - brilliant start to Le Tour, quick question - are you allowed to go flat out for a stage win or do you have to hold back to support Bradley's challenge. I'm just interested to know how the team support works.

  • Comment number 23.

    Excellent piece- I have recently been searching for a cycling blog to read and contribute to during the Tour so I was pleased to discover this one.

    I will be interested to follow the performance of Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins will surely have little to complain about given the calibre of the support he is likely to receive on every stage. Geraint Thomas will, I'm sure, provide invaluable service parallel to his efforts to retain the white jersey for as long as possible.

    Aside from remaining aware of British riders' results throughout the Tour, I shall, as ever, be transfixed on what promises to be an intriguing battle between Contador and Schleck again this year. We mustn't overlook other contenders or assume that that duel alone will supply the overall victor, but judging by their previous performances and a course that once more suits the climbers, it's hard to see past them. Schleck has already gained an advantage by exploiting Contador's misfortune at being ensnared by a crash during the opening stage. He consolidated his lead over the Spaniard today, as did Cadel Evans, in the TTT.
    I was surprised indeed when I found out that Schleck and Wiggins among others had gained 1'14" over Contador yesterday since a certain broadcaster had declared live that they had finished together. Without confirmation, I was led to believe that the crash had affected the former two as well. As it is, an even greater incentive to attack has been conferred upon Contador so the visits of first the Pyrenees, then the Alps (with which an excursion of my own shall deliberately coincide), could be very exciting.

    Good luck Geraint Thomas and Sky. Le Tour s'annonce bien! My only disappointment thus far has been to observe the colour change in Sky's jerseys, rendering the former blue/black version (a prized possession of mine) obsolete.

  • Comment number 24.

    Great blog Geraint and good to hear some live updates from France! Well done on an excellent TTT and holding onto that white jersey again.

    I went over to France to watch the tour for the first time last year, and am definitely hooked, was great to cheer you and the rest of the riders on during the TT. Thinking ahead to next year, with the olympics on the way, are you planning to go for the road race or just the track? What difference does it make to be able to ride a road race of that stature with the home fans cheering you on?

    And back on the Tour, hows the team taking the shaky start for Contador and some of your main rivals, are you sensing an opportunity? Either way will be an exciting couple of weeks!

  • Comment number 25.

    Congrats on the Tour so far G, do you fancy a go at the Amstel Gold race after your performance on the 1st stage?

  • Comment number 26.

    Cyclone-99 - I'm pretty much here to support Brad and his chances now. As you know there are a few stages mid race when a break will go and more than likely steady away. I’m not sure what the plan would be at the minute. But a few of us may get the opportunity to try on those days. We have plenty of guys who could do that, myself, Gerro, Eddie, Flecha. I guess time will tell...

    nadarsenal - Glad you liked the blog. I agree it's not just a 2 horse race. I think Evans looks good and will always gain time over the Schleks in the TT. By the way, the colour change is only for the Tour. To raise awareness for deforestation in Brazil. We will be back to blue in all other races. Thanks for the support, we all appreciate it!

    Brittod - Well it's been a great start for Brad to gain time over Contador, Sanchez and the like. Without having to necessarily spend any more energy. It's been a good start but there are still 19 days of mountains, wind and TTing to go... Should be a fun 3 weeks!!
    With the Olympics, the Team Pursuit is so fast and specific these days I think I will have to concentrate fully on that rather than try to do the both. Also with the road race before the track I don't think it could work.

    The_Usual_Suspect - Amstel is a race I went to watch as a kid and would love to do one day. And I think I could do well in it. The climbs are similar to Flanders, well without the cobbles. But it's the same up and down type race. I'm sure I will ride it soon.

  • Comment number 27.

    Geraint....well done so far in the Tour. How important is nutrition during race and what do you use.

  • Comment number 28.

    Great start to the tour! The drama of the first stage was a nice contrast to the prologues of previous years for me. Do you think Contador will be able to make up the lost time before the TT?

    Another random question, is John-Lee Augustyn still on team Sky? I know he's had his injury problems, but he'd probably have come in pretty useful for Wiggins in the mountains (I'm biased cos he's from my home town).

  • Comment number 29.

    nadarsenal - as well as this fine blog you should also check out The Inner Ring. A guy at work recommended it and it is superb:

    http://inrng.com

    Great start to the Tour, G. Gutted you missed yellow - if only you could've held onto a couple more of the team after the first time check.

    Saying that, Brad looks in ridiculous form and it's great to see all the Brits in the top 25 this morning!

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm really impressed with this blog. It's nice to see a sportsperson talking to the fans.
    I'm going to try and get on your De Ronde trip. I'd just like to say thank you for the reply and good luck for the tour.

    Mark.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi LycraLennie. The correct nutrition is vital throughout the tour generally and essential during the race. It’s important to keep hydrated and get carbs into your system for energy.

  • Comment number 32.

    Enjoyed reading this Geraint and looking forward to more. Just back from La Marmotte so for the first time starting to appreciate what you guys are up against - hats off to you and good luck over the next few weeks. Looking forward to stage 19 - felt the pain of the Galibier on Saturday.

  • Comment number 33.

    Wonderful effort over the last couple of days Geraint. Brilliant ride by the team yesterday, would love to finally see a Welshman in Yellow during this tour.

    One question for you. Mark Cavendish has been widely touted as being on the verge of moving to Sky Procycling next season. Would you like to see Cav as part of your team, and do you think there would be a conflict of interests between Cav going for green and yourself and Brad with regard to Yellow?

    Also, do you believe that Mark Renshaw would be a suitable man to come along with him?

  • Comment number 34.

    Hey G, thanks for taking the time to chat and sign our cool box as you were warming down after the second stage TTT. Been following you and the Sky team for the past 3 days and now on route back home. Worth the wait today to see you head off in the white jersey from Olonne Sur Mer....good luck keeping it for a few days yet! Will continue to cheer you on from the UK, C'mon GT!!! Dee (red head) & Stu (bag carrier)

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi there G - I suspect you don't remember returning my wave as we rode in opposite directions through Macclesfield one rainy sunday in January, but thanks - that made it quite a big day in my sad life :-) Great to see you & the team going so well - & looking forward to team SKY's first stage win in the Tour. Is there any other major sporting occasion where the winner each day gets a fantastic cuddly lion? Surely must be a major incentive to go for a breakaway! I see that every day with the white jersey you get a sort of white polar bear type thing which in comparison to the lion frankly looks a bit creepy. What do you do with them?

  • Comment number 36.

    Congats on a good team time trial,and in getting yourself into white Geraint.

    The 1st day crash shows how important it is to be fully focused on staying upright so keep a close eye out to keep Brad out of trouble!!

    A few lumpy finishes coming up now Geraint,will you or Edvald be looking to steal a march on the sprinters or more a case of keeping Brad out of trouble?

  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks for the blog Geraint - it's great to have such a high-profile sportsman interacting with us during the biggest event of the year. And congrats on getting the white jersey - hope to see you in it for as long as possible!

    Quick question. When Team Sky bursted on the stage, they wanted a Tour de France winner within five years. With Brad being the current leader of the team, do you think he's the man on whom this target is based, or do you think it could refer to yourself?

  • Comment number 38.

    A good weekend for Welsh Cycling at home too: Welsh Junior Road Race Champion Dan Pearson of Port Talbot Wheelers won the British Junior Road Race Championship with a stylish solo finish. One to watch.
    Good luck for the rest of the Tour Geraint, and watch out for the Welsh flags waving you on.

  • Comment number 39.

    Good insight into the working of the TDF, thanks and good luck!

  • Comment number 40.

    Congratulations on your progress so far Geraint - must be nice to start each day sitting in a jersey and top 5 GC. My partner is Norwegian so we're a bit sorry you can't share the white top with Edvald!

    Question for you about Edvald - as you know there are very high expectations for him in Norway. Without giving anything away do you see him challenging for a stage win this year or even does he hope to keep up with Brad in the GC?

    For yourself - do you have a target GC finish position or just thinking about finishing?

    Good luck with the rest of the Tour. P.S. Looking forward to waving you home in Paris!

  • Comment number 41.

    Thanks sgbreslin !! I'm looking forward to stage 19 but not for the pain!! Only because it's a couple days before Paris. Hope you enjoy the rest if the tour!!

    Thanks Ben. Cav is a good mate of mine and to have him in the team, I'm sure, would be a good thing. He wins races, big races and is without a doubt the fastest man in the peloton. Obviously we'd have to make sure it doesn't turn into team Cav. With 'conflict of interest' I think success breads success so if Cav was winning it would be great for the team. Although having Cav would mean we'd have to ride on the flat days as well. So the team would have to think carefully of the plan and the riders they take. But I think it could work.

    With Renshaw, without a doubt he's a good lead out man and they have ridden together a while now so know each other inside out. Although I think the train we have is great anyway!!

    No worries Little_Red_1 Enjoy the rest of the tour. And thanks for the support!!

    Haha thanks lindow_man Yeah the white bear is called a yeti!! And I agree the lion is substantially better!! I give them all to my girlfriend Sara, not sure what she does with them actually...

    jacksofbuxton The goal primarily is to keep Brad out of trouble and in a good position. Doing this means me and Eddie are also in the right place to have a go if we have the legs. Today (stage 4) I didn't have anything more than to just hang in there. It felt like my bottom bracket was tight, but maybe it was just my legs... I'm sure we'll keep having a good go though.

    Magpie, I'm not sure about myself. We will have to see how I develop. With Brad, I don't know. He will hopefully be a lot better than last year, which we are all confident of. Time will tell I guess, but why not? Anything can happen in a 3 week race.

    rubypea Thanks for the support guys!! The amount of Welsh flags I've seen the last few days has been crazy!! Probably the most of any country. So thanks again, really appreciate the support. Great news about Dan too.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi Geraint - congrats on the performance so far - you've been a joy to watch!

    I know your main job is to look after Brad but if you are still in white when the race enters the Pyrenees do you think you'll be allowed to defend the jersey? Obviously a lot can happen before then, especially on the tough stages through the massif central, but it would be great to see you try to defend in the mountains.

    Good luck with the rest of the race and whatever happens you've already shown you're one of the strongest riders in any stage outside the Pyrenees / Alps and I reckon one day you'll be strong in the mountains too!

  • Comment number 43.

    Great effort yesterday to keep the maillot blanc Geraint.Nice to see the majority of the Sky team so high up on such a tough finish yesterday.

    How's Ben Swift coping with his first tour?Nice little section about him yesterday on ITV's coverage.Does he have a race plan in mind or is it more of a question of gaining experience for later tours?

    And seeing as I'm a barber,would you please ask Brad to get his number 2 all over done properly ;-)

  • Comment number 44.

    Hi , Myself and Eddie have no GC ambitions at all. We are here to help Brad to the best GC result possible. This may mean that Eddie is at the front on some mountain stages, giving him a decent GC position. But it is nothing we are thinking about.

    However, he definitely has the legs to go for a stage. We are taking it day by day but I'm sure if he gets an opportunity he will try to take it. Thanks for your support!

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Geraint - Another outstanding performance today and another question from me... When you finish 5th in a sprint like today I guess that adds to your points for the Green Jersey, but does it give you any rewards towards the While Jersey or other classifications -acknowledging the immense prestige of course:)

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi Gerraint - so pleased to see the progress Team Sky have made this year having you Brad, Ben and Edvald all looking comfortable and mixing with the big boys, I leave for France this Friday and after my Etap du tour on Monday (Alpe Dhuez) I will be one of very few englishmen on Dutch Corner for the real stage, Good Luck Team Sky, cant wait now.

  • Comment number 47.

    Loving this years tour and this blog is great. Well done Geraint for your sterling efforts in both!

  • Comment number 48.

    Another great effort yesterday Geraint, and what an unbelievable finish! You must be satisfied with your performances to date. The sprint stages have been quite chaotic thus far and that must have made it pretty difficult to stay close to Boasson Hagen? The two of you seem to have been there or thereabouts a couple of times. I thought he was going to hold on for a minute yesterday.

    The HTC boys also don't seem as organised as last year in the finishes, probably due to the effort they're putting in with these uphill sections - looks like the organisers are doing all they can to make sure they don't dominate like last year. I'm sure Cav was happy to be on your wheel yesterday anyway! What a crazy stage - that motorcyclist should get his jotters this morning...

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Geraint,
    Great effort so far by you and the other Sky lads, long may it continue.

    Obviously now's a great time to be involved, especially for Brits, but I just wondered if you could have participated in any TDF in history, which would you go for?

    I reckon I'd go for the '86 LeMond vs. Hinault, the atmosphere would have been pretty intense!

    Good luck for the rest of the road to Paris.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Geraint

    How important have your family and friends been to your success? I've read that your future brother-in-law has been of huge importance to you, with many cycling commentators suggesting that your up-turn in form over the past few years has been down to his words of wisdom. Would this be fair to say?

    All the best with the tour

  • Comment number 51.

    Congratulations today Geraint! You led Edvald out perfectly and he always looked in control. Was that always today's gameplan?

  • Comment number 52.

    Brilliant job today. For a second there I thought you'd go for it, but you took your chance perfectly when there was that little lull.

    How long do you think you can hang on to the white jersey? Tomorrow shouldn't be a problem, but stages 8 and 9 look a little more "fun".

  • Comment number 53.

    "Thanks Ben. Cav is a good mate of mine and to have him in the team, I'm sure, would be a good thing. He wins races, big races and is without a doubt the fastest man in the peloton. Obviously we'd have to make sure it doesn't turn into team Cav. With 'conflict of interest' I think success breads success so if Cav was winning it would be great for the team. Although having Cav would mean we'd have to ride on the flat days as well. So the team would have to think carefully of the plan and the riders they take. But I think it could work.

    With Renshaw, without a doubt he's a good lead out man and they have ridden together a while now so know each other inside out. Although I think the train we have is great anyway!!"

    Thanks Ger, brilliant job again today on setting up a great win for Eddie! All I meant was that regardless of whether it was for Mark, or Swifty or Eddie BH, Rennie would be a top leadout guy along with seemingly yourself! Of course I don't think anybody in their right mind would even consider Sky becoming Team Cav, there are too many top riders in the team for that to happen. Yourself, Brad, Swifty, BH and the like mean that it would be impractical for Cav to just come in and own the team in the same way that he owns HTC.

    Thanks so much for answering my question, please pass on all our best to the team, you lot are doing a phenomenal job as well as the other brits at Garmin and HTC to shower yourselves in glory!

  • Comment number 54.

    cyclone999: No it's just towards the green jersey. Everything else stays the same unless there are time gaps.

    DaleLane: Thanks!! Enjoy the etape and look forward to seeing up on the Alpe!!

    stevie_bhoy: Yeh it is hard to stick together when they are so chaotic but fortunately we can follow eachother pretty well in the last few ks. We are getting better the more we ride together. As for the harder finishes I don't neccessarily think they did it to upset Cav and HTC. Cipo, Zabel and the likes used to dominate in the past. I just think they are looking to make it a bit different and exciting, which I think it is.

    JBB: 2011 without a doubt. We're making history!!

    Rhyso: friends and family are massively important and it's true I have taken some good advice from Sa's brother. Although her cousins Rich and Phil have been there through thick and thin. Her brother's a bit of a glory hunter to be honest...












 

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