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Now hoping for a stage win myself

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Geraint Thomas | 09:53 UK time, Friday, 8 July 2011

What a great day yesterday was. To finally get that stage win was amazing!

As I have already said, it was a great team effort and Eddie finished it off perfectly.

On Wednesday, we weren’t quite together at the finish and Eddie went for a long one. I wasn’t actually supposed to be right up there. I was keeping Brad well positioned, out of trouble, and in front of any splits.

We went through the 2km to go banner in the top 10 and I couldn’t help myself… why not!! But yesterday it came together perfectly.

It’s been a great week for the team and of course myself on a personal level. Wearing the white jersey has been a great honour and morale boost. I’ve been loving this first week.

The racing has suited me well, obviously I would love a stage win and have been asked many times when it’s coming… Well hopefully I will get an opportunity at some point during the race and I’ll try to make the most of it.

2011 has been the second year I have come within a few seconds of taking the yellow jersey. It’s been a dream of mine since I can remember. I’m sure if I keep putting myself in the mix, it will happen one day.

With regards to the mountains, like I said in my previous blog, I will do my bit and sit up and save as much energy as possible for the next day. This first week has taken a lot of effort, as you can imagine, so by the time I get to the final week I will have to look after myself as best as possible.

In the future, is it something I want to go for?? Of course I would love to be able to climb with the best in the tour. In the meantime I just want to continue to improve as a bike rider, and if I think I can target a race like the Tour, then 100% I will try!

 This first week, although its been very enjoyable, its also been marred by a lot of crashes. But that’s the Tour. It’s not nice to see fellow riders fall and break bones.

But, at the Tour, everyone is nervous, everyone wants to be at the front and everyone wants to win. As a result we stress, get too close and crash.

Everyone complains, yet everyone still stresses and fights for position. It is just one of those things I guess.

Is the route more dangerous than normal? I don’t really know, it’s my third tour, but in the first I could barely see as I was hurting so much!!

Guys don’t complain at the Classics… but then again they are different races. The weather doesn’t exactly help matters either.

Your vision is obviously impaired and braking is a lot different. A lot comes down to us the riders to ride safely. There’s definitely a few guys out there renowned for riding like ‘desperate fools’ but I’m not going to name any names here… Sorry!!

 Finally, the icing on the cake this week must be sharing my ‘podium experiences’ with my girlfriend Sara. The team carer has managed to smuggle her behind the podium most days.

She has been out here since the TTT and it’s been great having her here watching. Sa and my family/friends give me heaps of support and it is great to share it with them. I’m certainly looking forward to a ‘few’ beers with the boys back in Cardiff come August!! Thanks to everyone for the support and good luck messages – it really means a lot.





  • Comment number 1.

    Great performance this week Geraint. Seem to be a bit of a lucky omen these last two stages, led out Cav on Wednesday, then Eddie yesterday. Maybe deliver Swift today?

    Hope yesterday's victory is the start of something good for Team Sky. Push on to get more stage wins, and either yourself or Brad the Maillot Jaune. Good luck.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great first week so far for Team Sky,topped off with EBH taking a maiden stage win for the team.Perhaps you could follow the example of Garmin by following up the next day with a stage win yourself Geraint!!

    What made you decide to lead out for EBH,rather than the other way round?Was it a team decision or did you two decide "on the hoof"?

    On a personal note will you be looking to defend the maillot blanc in the mountains at all,or is it now a question of taking care of Brad in the business end?

    Also,I think it's fair to say that Brad,plus others like Leipheimer,Evans etc aren't as natural in the mountains as Contador,so will you look at working with,say BMC,to keep a steady tempo going?

    Good luck for the rest of the race for you and all at Team Sky.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Geraint, Was fantastic to see the team get their first stage win yesterday. Youve really deserved it after the hard work that's been put in over the last couple of years and I hope you acheive more success in the tour through yourself or Brad.

    My question is that after the stage 4 and yesterday do you think the organisers have altered previously routine flat stages to create a much more unpredictable finish and maybe stop the Cavendish dominance we've seen in the last few years? I heard the ITV4 commentators touch on it yesterday and I wondered if you thought it was the case?

    All the best for the rest of the tour.

  • Comment number 4.

    Great to see Team Sky get their first stage win yesterday, all that hard work finally paying off! Maybe your becoming the best lead out man in the tour now, unintionally with Cav and then EBH yesterday, good going!
    Was wondering if you have or still ever dabble in cycling disciplines other than road or track? I'm more of a mountain biker and often make the most of the brilliant welsh trail centres at Coed-y-brenin, Afan forest, Gwydr forest... Do you ever go out mountain biking seeing as these awesome trails are on your doorstep? Also got to say home made welsh cakes at these centres are the best post-ride treat!

  • Comment number 5.

    What a roller coaster couple of days, the emphatic maiden stage win for EBH and Sky after a superb lead out by yourself. Then the crushing low of seeing Brad break his collarbone and all you guys losing time and the White Jersey and dropping from 2nd to 20th in the Team standings. How do you regroup from here? What was plan B?
    You're riding really well, why not try for the GC yourself!

  • Comment number 6.

    Such a shame yesterday Geraint.Brad has been looking so strong as well (as have the rest of the team).I guess we're looking now for Uran to try and do something in the mountains,see if he can pinch a stage while the GC riders battle it out in private.

  • Comment number 7.

    Jacksofbuxton, it wasn't really team orders we were both on a 'free role' but I didn't feel super, and seeing it was quite controlled I said I would lead Eddie out. He is the better sprinter and stood the best chance of winning. Which he proved!!

    Obviously I don't have the White anymore and Brad is no longer with us. We will be looking for stages now. And support Rigo next week in the mountains.

    eau_rouge_08 I think they wanted to change it from the 'usual' and make it a bit more interesting. Although I don't think they did it to stop Cav and HTC winning. Cipo, Zabel and co dominated for years...

    mda07bcm I don't really go mountain biking much to be honest. I tend to overdo it and crash. It's only the track and road for me these days.

    skinnylew We will just be aggressive like today and go for stages the next few days. Then when we get to the mountains take it as it comes. Hopefully Rigo can get up there, but time will tell.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi G, great insight through your blog. Might we see Sky riders in breakaways since Brad got injured or are breakaways just a way of getting tired quicker?

  • Comment number 9.

    Well Geraint,what an up and down first week for you and the team.How is Juan Antonio this morning?After such an awful,avoidable accident I hope he's not done any damage to himself.I thought Dave Brailsford took a very sensible approach last night to offer no comment until the dust had settled.So many tumbles this first week,especially sad to see Vino,Brad and Jurgen Van der Broek abandon through no fault of their own.I hope you'll stay out of trouble as well now.

    So what will the team look for through the mountains,try to launch Rigo for a stage win while Evans/Contador/Schlek concentrate on GC?

  • Comment number 10.

    Well done on today's stage Geraint and congrats for the combativity prize - for a while there I thought you were going to do it - top marks for a really gutsy effort.

    Was lucky enough to see you and the team set off from Cugnaux this morning, and was struck by the ovalized chainrings on your bike. Have you done tests to help you decide these are more efficient than round ones, or is it based on feeling?

    Hope you manage to recover in time for l'Aubisque and Bieille (I hear welsh cakes are good recovery food......) and good luck for the rest of the Tour!


  • Comment number 11.

    Chapeau for yesterday Geraint.Once Sanchez started his attack it was a case of keeping fingers crossed for you,but those final few kilometres....

    Keep going,and good luck to the sky boys as well.


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