Geraint Thomas was 'keen to rectify poor performance' at Tour de France as he supports Richard Carapaz

The Welshman was much improved during stage nine and will now be a super-domestique to his teammate

Geraint Thomas
(Image credit: Getty)

Geraint Thomas was happy to be back riding at the front of peloton on stage nine of the Tour de France after a horror show the day before.

One of the pre-race favourites, Thomas suffered a dislocated shoulder on stage three of the race after crashing but was still in the fight for yellow up until yesterday when he was dropped at the start and eventually finished fourth last, 35 minutes down from stage winner Dylan Teuns.

On Sunday, however, the Welshman was much improved and led the Ineos Grenadiers up the final ascent to Tignes, working on behalf of the team's leader Richard Carapaz.

While  plan to isolate race leader Tadej Pogačar and help Carapaz gain some time on the young Slovenian didn't materialise, it was a showing of strength from Ineos Grenadiers.

Speaking after the stage, Thomas was glad to put Saturday behind him with a better showing today.

"Yesterday obviously started right on a climb and I was out the back of the peloton and didn't get back," he said.

"But I felt 10 times better today. I was still swinging, don't get me wrong, and that was a hard start today but I managed to just hang in there.

"I was a lot more up for it today. Not that I wasn't yesterday, but after such a poor performance yesterday I was keen to rectify that.

"I had an extra coffee on the bus and the altitude [helped] I guess. Then I just felt okay once we get on the long climbs.

"We tried to up the pace at the end for Billy [Carapaz], to put the other guys on the back foot a bit and for him to have a go."

Given that Pogačar has a lead of over five minutes to Carapaz, the Ecuadorian is now likely to focus on securing a final podium spot in the race.

Having Thomas as a helper will be a crucial aid, although with the Briton set to take part in the Olympics road race and time trial in three weeks, he could be tempted to leave the race early and recover in time.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.