Thomas willing to take the abuse while he enjoys the yellow jersey
Thomas emerged from the first week as a bona fide contender for the 2018 edition. He won at La Rosière summit finish on stage 11 and then in the yellow jersey the next day won up the famous Alpe d’Huez climb.
Today, he enjoyed the fifth day in yellow, and although some boos make their way from the spectators on the roadside or near the Team Sky bus, he is enjoying a career high.
“It’s not a nice situation because it’s a highlight of my career, it’s a massive honour and a privilege to be wearing the jersey and it’s been an incredible race so far,” Thomas said after the 15th stage in Carcassonne of some of the negativity around the race towards his team.
“There’s obviously been a bit of negativity which isn’t nice, but you have to stay strong in your head and crack on. The way I see it, I would rather be in this jersey, having the race of my life and getting booed for whatever than being dropped on the first climb and everyone cheering you.”
Watch: Tour de France 2018 stage 15 highlights
Team Sky have had their share of negativity over the years at the Tour, including spectators throwing urine at the team and one punching Richie Porte.
Earlier in the race Luke Rowe rode up to a fan and took down a sign that read “Sky go home” ahead of one stage. He also remarked on the jeers at Tour teams’ presentation, saying “it wasn’t the best.”
“It’s not a nice situation, and obviously we would prefer everyone to love us, but I’m not sure it’s anything we’ve done, or especially that I’ve done, to deserve it,” Thomas explained. “You would have to ask the public, and maybe it’s a reflection of the way we’re perceived in the French media.”
Thomas enjoyed a relatively easy day stage 15 today, which closes the second phase of the race. The race resumes after a rest day tomorrow with three stages in the Pyrénées. The Welshmen takes confidence from the days so far in the famous yellow jersey.
“It’s certainly a lift when you are wearing this jersey in the race, something I always dreamed of doing as a kid, so yeah, it does give you confidence.”