Thomas is future Tour winner

Welshman Geraint Thomas is a future Tour de France winner, according to the head coach of Great Britain cycling team, Shane Sutton.

He says Thomas will emulate British riders Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome and win cycling’s premier race.

Double Olympic gold medallist Thomas will ride in the

British National Championships in Wales 

in June.

“Geraint is in the prime position to lead his own team and become a future tour winner,” said Sutton.



My back was the worst bit after the crash, because I slid quite a distance on it. And then I had a chunk out of my hip as well so I had to have some stitches

Froome, in 2013,

and

Wiggins, in 2012,

have won the Tour de France for Team Sky.

Thomas, 27, won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and has also made his mark during Tour de France stages.

He had a chance of winning the

Paris-Nice stage race,

where he became Team Sky leader for the first time, but he

crashed on the penultimate stage.

Thomas, Wiggins and Froome are expected to battle it out for the men’s elite road race title alongside reigning national champion Mark Cavendish.

The road race, which starts in Abergavenny, is over 116 miles of rural roads and punishing climbs for the men and over 63 miles for the women.

“Team Sky will become Geraint Thomas’s team over time,” said Sutton.

“It’s just a matter of it evolving and him going away and getting the skills he needs, learning how to lead a team.

“Look at Chris Froome, he has learnt from Wiggins, and how to follow him through the tour and everything else.

“Geraint is in the prime position to lead his own team and become a future tour winner.

Shane Sutton

Team Sky will become Geraint Thomas’s team over time. It’s just a matter of it evolving and him going away and getting the skills he needs, learning how to lead a team.

Shane Sutton
Great Britain cycling team head coach

“It is probably three years in the making because Froomey is a very good bike rider and he is not going to go away for a while.”

Sutton says Thomas is the “100% the favourite” for the elite road race and he expects the Welshman to have extra motivation because he is racing on home soil.

“Every year is a big year for Geraint because when you are a big star in any field – rugby, athletics, whatever it is – there is a level of expectation,” said Sutton.

“Even me as a someone who has worked with Geraint in the past and is still in regular contact with him, I expect something of him week-in and week-out.

“Every year is a big year but this probably bigger than this because not only are the nationals in Wales, the tour is in Yorkshire and he is stepping up to a leader’s role in GC [general classification] riding.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/wales/26634755

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