Dauphiné winner looking to improve on two 15th place finishes in 2015 and 2016
The Critérium du Dauphiné winner enters the Tour de France in the shadow of four-time winner Chris Froome despite being assigned a dual-leadership role within the British team. But the Welsh rider doesn’t mind this low profile status.
“That’s fine with me, I’d prefer people just to not talk about me and just get on with my thing and just race my bike really,” Thomas said.
“It’ll be nice to just get going and so much can happen so its always good to have two good cards to play. So hopefully we can be right up there and see where we are at when we get into the Alps.”
Thomas has had an extra week compared to other years to fine tune his preparation, which culminated in victory at the British Road National Championships time trial and a jersey which he will showcase on stage 20 of the Tour.
“I had a week of recons where we stayed in the Alps and rode those stages, we raced one in the Dauphiné already and raced the other two,” he added.
“Then went to the Pyrenees and rode them as well as the TT, so that was a busy week and then went back home to Monaco and did a good 10 day block of training there before flying to nationals and winning the TT.
“Then pretty much shut it down since then, resting up and getting ready for a big month.”
The opening stages of the race could be well suited to Thomas – whose Dauphiné victory was built on a dominant team time trial – with the cobbles stage nine a terrain where he has excelled both in one-day Classics and previous Tour stages.
“I enjoy that sort of Classics style of racing, I think you’ve just got to be aggressive and race hard,” Thomas said.
“The TTT is a big hit but the teams here will be stronger than the Dauphiné, obviously BMC, Sunweb and Quick-Step even Mitchelton-Scott; everyone is going to improve their team. So it’s a challenge.”