Dave Brailsford says Team Sky is the best place for 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas to continue his career, after Thomas said he would be “open to hearing other options” with his contract at Sky due to expire at the end of the season.
Thomas has been clear since his win in the Tour de France on Sunday that he would not immediately dismiss offers from other teams, which are likely to feature an increased salary offer after his overall victory.
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The Welshman had reportedly verbally agreed a contract with Sky before the Tour, but did not officially sign it. The team and Thomas will now enter negotiations to try and keep him there, with general manager Brailsford saying he’d “like to think we will get it all sorted out.”
“I am pretty positive this is the best team for Geraint,” Brailsford told BBC Radio Wales.
“It’s not unusual that these guys win something big and it puts them in a different place to when they started out.
“With the contract negotiations we will sit down and thrash it all out. We’re a team that wants him, a team where he has been very successful, one where it knows the staff.
“Like anyone he is entitled to listen to other options but I’d like to think we will get it all sorted out.”
Thomas, 32, has been with Sky since the team’s inception in 2010, but will likely find himself competing against four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome and talented young Colombian Egan Bernal for leadership opportunities at Grand Tours.
Other teams could offer Thomas outright leadership, thanks to his win in the Tour, and build a team to fully support him.
However Brailsford said that there is no defined leader already for next year’s Tour de France, and that Thomas would still have to “be better” than Chris Froome whether he stayed at Sky or moved on to a rival team.
“It’s always been the case at Team Sky that we have individuals who can perform at the highest level,” Brailsford said.
“In our sport you don’t sit down and right a name of a piece a paper at this stage and say he will be the team leader next year.
“Take Geraint for example, in order to win the Tour de France he would have to beat Chris Froome and Egan Bernal.
“In our sport it has a structure where you’re on a team with someone but to win you have to be better than them, whether you’re in another team or in that team.
“You have to think of the environment you’re in.”