Thomas wants to challenge team-mate Froome at Tour de France

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Geraint Thomas wants Tour de France yellow jersey again

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas hopes to be able to challenge four-time winner Chris Froome for victory at this year’s Tour de France.

Welshman Thomas wore the yellow jersey until stage five of last year’s Tour de France, which Froome won.

But the 32-year-old is hopeful of a longer leadership challenge this year after recent wins in the Criterium du Dauphine and UK national time trial.

“I’d love to wear the jersey again,” he told BBC Sport Wales. “Even for a day.”

“If I could wear it for a bit longer [this year] that would be amazing. [Wearing it] it’s just an amazing feeling.”

Froome is aiming to win his fourth successive Grand Tour – after his stunning Giro d’Italia win in May followed victories in the Tour and Vuelta a Espana last summer.

However, Thomas is determined to now ride to win – having previously acted as a domestique to Sir Bradley Wiggins and then Froome at the Tour.

He says Team Sky will allow him to go toe-to-toe with four-time winner Froome when the 2018 race begins on July 7, at least up to a point.

“The team have said that with the way I’ve been riding they’re confident to give me that role of a backup guy and to race at least until the first rest day [after stage nine],” he said.

“We’ll go from there then and hopefully have two cards to play. I think the longer that both of us are up there it gives the team two options.

“I’m really motivated and I’m looking forward to it.”

Froome remains under investigation from world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, after it was revealed he had exceeded the permitted levels of salbutamol – a legal asthma medication – during his Vuelta win.

But he has continued to compete and says he expects to win the anti-doping case.

Tour de France ‘a big circus’

A broken collarbone forced Thomas to withdraw from the 2017 Tour de France after he crashed during stage nine.

But the double Olympic track champion says he’s hoping for a better time at the event he fondly describes as “a big circus.”

“Last year what could go wrong did go wrong,” he said. “Hopefully this year will be a lot better.

“It’ll certainly be a tough first week. There’ll be crosswinds, the team time trial, a few lumpy stages – which will be stressful – and obviously the cobbles.

“But I like that sort of racing so hopefully I can take advantage of that.”

‘I’m pretty confident where I’m going’

Thomas joined Team Sky for their inaugural season back in 2010.

His contract expires at the end of 2018 and he’s previously said he hoped to have his future resolved before the Tour begins.

“It’s close but nothing is official yet so I don’t want to jinx it by saying it’s done and dusted,” he said.

“I’m pretty confident where I’m going to go, but it needs the Ts crossing and the Is dotted and then I’ll be able to tell everyone.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44653639

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