Tour winner Thomas ‘confident’ of new deal ‘in next few days’

Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas was welcomed home by thousands of fans in Cardiff on Thursday as he celebrated his Tour win

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says he is confident of agreeing a new deal with Team Sky.

His contract is due to expire at the end of the year, with other teams expressing interest in signing the 32-year-old Welshman.

Speaking at his Tour homecoming parade, Thomas told the BBC: “I know they [Team Sky] had a big meeting today, I’m obviously really happy there.

“I’m confident we’ll get something sorted in the next few days.

Thomas added: “We’re incredibly close and I’m happy where I am. It seems to be working well at the moment.

“So I think in the very near future we’ll have it all done.”

The new Polish-sponsored CCC WorldTour team has already made Thomas an offer, with sports director Piotr Wadecki saying he wants to build his Tour de France team around Thomas.

“We have made an offer to him and we are waiting for a reply,” he said.


Geraint Thomas led a peloton of youngsters through Cardiff City centre on Thursday

CCC Sprandi Polkowice will merge with BMC Racing in 2019 to create CCC WorldTour.

Speaking to the website Przeglad Sportowy, Wadecki said they have already signed one of the best classic race riders in the world in Greg van Avermaet, but want to compete in the general classification at Grand Tours.

Thomas’ Team Sky contract expires at the end of 2018 but, although his position as team leader is not certain, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said he was “pretty positive” it was the best place for him to stay.

Wadecki added: “He won the Tour de France, but will he be number one? There’s [four-time Tour champion] Chris Froome who will want to win.

“With us, Geraint would already know in January that his goal is the Tour de France and we would definitely focus on him.”


Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas was racing in his ninth Tour de France when he won in July 2018

Thomas has acknowledged he has had offers but says he is comfortable in the Team Sky environment.

“I feel a real part and I grew up in the system, Dave Brailsford, Rod Ellingworth, Fran Millar, I’ve know them all since I’ve been 17,” he said.

“Without Tim Kerrison I wouldn’t be here now either. It works for me and I’m happy.

“It’s not just about on the road and what the guys are like. You’ve got to weigh up everything, see the negatives and the positives and go from there.

“There’s a lot of good teams out there and out of respect I wanted to hear what they had to say. It’s been nice to have some nice offers.

“I’ve made my mind up in my head really, but just need to get it done officially. Hopefully it’ll be done within the next day.”

If Thomas signs with Team Sky, he says he will not have any problems about working alongside four times Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

“If I was riding with Froomey again I think the way we rode this year was the right way to go about it,” said Thomas.

“We’re both open and honest with each other, we’re good mates and that hasn’t changed and it could work again.

“Easily if roles were reversed next year, I’d be disappointed like Froomey because you want to win.

“At the same time if Froomey is the stronger, you do your bit.”

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Both Yates twins will now race in Vuelta a Espana

Adam and Simon Yates

Adam and Simon Yates signed new deals with Mitchelton-Scott in July

British twin brothers Adam and Simon Yates will race together at the Vuelta a Espana for Australian team Mitchelton-Scott.

Simon was scheduled to take part in the final Grand Tour of the season and will be the team’s leader in the race.

Adam also decided to ride to add to his experience of competing in multiple big races after a modest Tour de France.

He will ride in support of his 26-year-old sibling in the race, which starts in Malaga on 25 August.

“The Vuelta a Espana wasn’t originally on my program,” Adam said.

“But, together with the management, we came to the decision that doing the Vuelta after the Tour would be another good chance to get some experience in riding multiple Grand Tours in one year.”

Adam, who was fourth in the 2016 Tour de France as he won the young riders’ classification, finished in 29th – more than an hour behind winner Geraint Thomas – in this year’s race.

Simon led the Giro d’Italia for 13 days this year before falling away on stage 19 of the race, which was eventually won by fellow British rider Chris Froome.

“My preparation has been very different to the Giro d’Italia because like a few guys that will line up in Spain, I have one eye on the World Championships later this year,” Simon said.

“It will be interesting to see how my body responds but, as always, I’ll give it my all to achieve a great result.”

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Lizzie Deignan feared career was over before signing for Trek

Lizzie Deignan

Lizzie Deignan is a former road world champion

Lizzie Deignan says she was “concerned” about her future in cycling before signing for the new Trek Factory Racing team, who named her lead rider.

The 2015 road race world champion, who is due to give birth to her first child next month, says the new women’s team is a “step forward” for the sport.

Deignan, 29, said she did not expect to return to cycling after a year out.

“It’s unprecedented in that way,” she told BBC Radio 5 live’s Business of Sport.

“My career was up in the air really but I was then approached by Trek.

“I was concerned about my future in the sport as it hasn’t really happened before at elite level road cycling.

“There haven’t really been mothers who have stepped away from it and come back and been supported.”

Deignan plans to return to training in December, before a home Road World Championships in Yorkshire next September and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The London 2012 Olympic silver medallist, who is married to Team Sky rider Philip Deignan, added: “It wasn’t something I ever considered before, becoming a mum while being a cyclist or the potential of returning to professional sport as a mother.

“It’s not something everybody is thinking about but it is definitely a limiting factor for most women in their career.”

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Evans and Whyte win BMX one-two for GB

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Great Britain duo claim BMX gold silver

Britain’s Kyle Evans won gold in the men’s BMX final at the European Championships ahead of team-mate Kye Whyte, who took silver in Glasgow.

Evans, 24, finished in a time of 34.715 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Whyte and Andre Sylvain of France.

“For me to go out and perform like that is huge. I’m at a loss for words at the minute,” said Wigan-born Evans.

“There were so many good riders here, the top six in the world are all from Europe. It was never going to be easy.”

Silver medallist Whyte added: “It’s crazy. This is my first year as elite so I didn’t expect to reach the final. It’s unbelievable to finish second behind my team-mate.”

The result takes Britain’s cycling tally at the championships to 12 medals.

Both British riders finished fastest in their semi-finals but compatriot Paddy Sharrock missed out on the final having finished eighth in the semi-final won by Whyte.

In the women’s event, Briton Bethany Shriever, winner of world junior gold in 2017, finished eighth in her semi-final.

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Yates wins final stage but finishes second overall in Tour of Poland

Simon Yates

Yates won the white jersey for best young rider at the 2017 Tour de France

Britain’s Simon Yates won the final stage of the Tour of Poland but missed out on overall victory to Team Sky’s Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski.

Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates, 26, began the day 39 seconds behind Kwiatkowski and attacked with 10km to go.

At one point he led by 35 seconds but Kwiatkowski recovered to finish only 14 seconds behind in Bukowina Tatrzanska.

Yates also secured 10 bonus seconds with victory but Kwiatkowski took the yellow jersey by 15 seconds.

Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, second on the final stage finished third overall, five seconds further back.

Kwiatkowski also won the points jersey, with Yates finishing third, while Austrian 26-year-old Patrick Konrad of Bora-Hansgrohe was the best climber.

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