British stars Cavendish and Thomas both rank amongst the most successful graduates from the British Cycling Academy, once led by Rod Ellingworth, and have each gone on to their own successes.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step sprinter Cavendish put in a storming performance on stage four of the 2021 Tour de France to win his 31st stage, five years since his last.
Speaking after the stage Thomas, a former team-mate of Cavendish at Team Sky, said: “Good old Cav. It’s great to see him win.
“I’ve got to say I was a little surprised...I hope he doesn’t hear me say that, but I thought he always had a chance.
“To win today is awesome for him. It’s great to see.”
In the last 12 months, Cavendish has gone from fearing the premature end of his career with Bahrain-McLaren, to dominating in sprints with his old team Deceuninck - Quick-Step, bringing to an end three winless years.
Meanwhile Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour de France, is focussed purely on taking him the yellow jersey after the three weeks, but was forced to battle through injury on stage four after he dislocated his shoulder in a crash the previous day.
Thomas crashed early on stage three to Pontivy and looked to be out of the race, before a race doctor popped his shoulder back into place at the road side, allowing the Welshman to continue the race.
On day four, Thomas was able to enjoy a sedate pace in the bunch and avoided trouble ahead of the stage five time trial, where he will hope to move up on general classification.
Speaking after stage four, he said: “[My shoulder] was okay actually, it was better than I thought it’d be. It’s just sore.
“I got through it as best as I could and once I got into the final I just thought ‘stay with the boys and don’t let that wheel go and focus on that’.
“I feel worse now [after the finish]. I’m looking forward to a massage and getting ready and all the other jazz the physios use on me.”
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