Team Sky transport boss backs Geraint Thomas to shine

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas is currently 32nd in the 2011 Tour de France.

Gwilym Mason Evans, head of transport at Team Sky, has backed Welsh rider Geraint Thomas, 25, to challenge for the Tour de France title one day.

Thomas' overall standing is 32nd after completing the ninth stage of the 2011 race, but Evans is already looking to the future for the Cardiff-born star.

"He's an amazing guy and still so young," said fellow countryman Evans.

"Matured riders come into their own when they're in their early 30s. He's a brilliant lead-out rider."

Lead Sky cyclist Bradley Wiggins was forced to quit the 2011 Tour de France on Friday after breaking his collar bone in a crash.

But Evans, who is from Aberystwyth, believes the incident will not stop Thomas from challenging race leader Rui da Costa, even though Thomas' support role at Team Sky may now change.

"He's there to win certain stages," added Evans, who has 25 years of experience working in Formula One with Honda and Benetton.

"But the overall role of Geraint was to support Bradley (Wiggins) with the other race riders."

Cardiff-bornThomas, a product of the British Cycling Academy, has two senior world titles, an Olympic gold medal and a world record in the team pursuit.

The Tour de France cyclists are enjoying a rest day on Monday, before the 158km stage 10 between Aurillac and Carmaux on Tuesday.

Evans believes Thomas' experience will be crucial for future success.

"Geraint has a few years to go, and a lot to learn, but he's learning very fast," said Evans.

"His background in track cycling has helped him immensely with regards to road racing.

"We've got a huge amount of British talent coming through and one of the goals is to get a British winner of the Tour de France by 2015."