Geraint Thomas reacts to Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France stage 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’

Geraint Thomas on stage four of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Daniel Cole - Pool/Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas said he was a little surprised by Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France stage win, but added he always thought the sprinter had a chance. 

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.

>>> Five talking points from stage four of the Tour de France 2021

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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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.