Geraint Thomas?s training ride was today interrupted by a phone call informing him that he could be riding this year?s Tour de France.
It was a big moment in the 21-year-old Welshman’s first season as a professional. The call followed today?s announcement that his Barloworld team had been given one of three wild card spots for the race.
Team manager Claudio Corti said: ?We’ve got a list of 12 riders that are in contention for the final nine places in the Tour team. Geraint Thomas is one of them and he’s got a very good chance of riding. He’s still very young and inexperienced but he’s already proved he’s good at helping our sprinters.?
Thomas first impressed the team?s sprinters in the Tour Down Under, giving them near perfect lead-outs on difficult finishes, work that he continued at the recent Tour of Picardie, ?I was going well, I was probably one of the strongest there,? Thomas said.
?It?s quite surreal, it?s hard to believe. I dreamt of riding the Tour de France when I was a kid, watching it on TV. It?s quite scary really, especially with it being in London, it?s such a big thing to be part of.
?I?d probably only do the first ten or 12 stages, but that would still be the hardest thing I?ve ever done, but just to be there and soak it all up would be unbelievable.
Thomas had been aiming to hit his best form for the national championships that fall the weekend before the Tour start, ?I?ve got a descent programme and I won’t be changing any of it. I won’t focus on climbing or trying to lose weight, I?ll just focus on quality training.?
Before he heard the news, Thomas had spoken to Great Britain team-mate Mark Cavendish who himself is pushing for a Tour place after five wins this season for T-Mobile, ?I don?t see why he shouldn?t go, he?s absolutely storming, he?s one of the fastest sprinters out there at the moment.
?I think he wants to [ride], they?d be stupid not to take him, there?s at least five sprints he could be up there in.?