Tour de France: Geraint Thomas says win 'good timing' for new Team Sky deal

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'It's just insane really' - Thomas reacts to Tour de France win

Geraint Thomas has joked that his Tour de France victory has come at the right time, as he prepares to sit down and negotiate his future with Team Sky.

Thomas, 32, became the first Welshman and third British rider to win Le Tour when he clinched victory on Sunday.

"I have not signed a new contract yet, so it is quite good timing!" Thomas, who is out of contract at the end of the year, told BBC's The One show.

He also praised team-mate Chris Froome for helping him achieve victory.

Thomas rode in support of Froome in each of his four Tour victories and was due to do so again this time only to emerge as the race's dominant force.

Fellow Briton Froome, the defending champion, finished third overall.

"To have Froomey ride for me was a massive honour," said Thomas. "He is probably the best Grand Tour rider ever and it was never awkward. We were always open and honest with each other from day one.

"I have big respect for him for that because it could have got awkward and been a bit of tension there."

Hungry for more... and celebrity fans

Asked if the victory had made him hungry for more, he said: "Most definitely, I've got the bug for it now. I've really enjoyed my time in the yellow jersey and those stage wins as well. I want more now for sure, it's exciting times.

"It will take a while to sink in. When I go back to Cardiff it's going to be insane."

Only adding to the surreal experience have been the messages of congratulations from across the sporting world and beyond - from the likes of Thierry Henry, Dan Carter and Sir Elton John, as well as a phone call from former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"I spoke to him on the phone this morning, which was bonkers," said Thomas, an Arsenal fan. "I stayed off Twitter and things during the race and went on after the time trial and it was just crazy. The support is just amazing."

Bonding experience for Team Sky

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome clasp hands in celebration on the podium in Paris
Thomas said of Froome: 'It must have been tough for him because he desperately wanted to win a fifth Tour de France'

Team Sky faced an expected backlash during the Tour, stemming from an anti-doping investigation into Froome that was dropped in early July and other controversies.

Riders were booed and spat at by spectators, while Froome was pushed by a spectator on Alpe d'Huez.

Thomas said the abuse had been something that only increased the bond among the team.

"We have just got a real good bond and we really sort of gelled as a team over the three weeks, especially with some of the abuse we were getting on the road," he said.

"That really sort of brought us together as team.

"I've played that [support] role all my career almost, apart from this race, and everyone just dedicates themselves 100%.

"It's a massive commitment and dedication, and much appreciated obviously."

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