Geraint Thomas: 'It makes sense to go into the Tour with joint leaders'

The defending Tour de France champion say he and Egan Bernal will work hard for each other and the team at the Tour

Geraint Thomas after stage 21 of the Tour de France 2018 (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas (Ineos) has said "it makes sense" to share leadership responsibilities with 22-year-old Egan Bernal at the upcoming Tour de France.

Following team-mate Chris Froome's horrific crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné, many assumed discussion over Ineos team leadership at the Tour would be over, with the British outfit reduced to only the one previous winner in their squad.

>>> Tom Dumoulin ‘seriously considering’ leaving Sunweb at end of season, according to reports

However, after Thomas crashed out of the Tour de Suisse on stage four and Bernal went on to win the race, the young Colombian's form became impossible for team selectors to ignore.

"Egan and I will work hard for each other and the team over the three weeks of the race," the Welshman told The Observer, who also went into more detail about his crash in Switzerland.

"When I saw blood dripping from my face I knew the doc wasn’t going to let me continue, so I just stayed sat on the floor. But it was more from just the anger and the disappointment, really. Just sitting there never looks great, because if a guy doesn’t get up straight away it normally means something bad has happened, but I was fine.

"It was disappointing to have to pull out but it was the right call," Thomas said. "I hit my head pretty hard and I was cut above the eye. However, there was no real concussion symptoms in the couple of days afterwards, so I was able to start training again on the Friday after the crash and I’ve had some decent rides since."

Thomas is no stranger to crashes, having fallen hard on the opening stage of the 2013 Tour. Despite heading to hospital after stage two and discovering he had fractured his pelvis, he completed the race, helping Chris Froome take his first of four Tour victories.

"The crash was not ideal, mainly because I wanted to see where I was and to be more certain about what everyone else was doing compared to me," Thomas said of his crash in Switzerland, "but purely from a physical point of view, I don’t think the crash is too much of an issue. I would have liked to have done all the race just to have a really good test."

The lack of knowledge concerning the 33-year-old's form will have played a part in Ineos deciding that Thomas and Bernal should share leadership at the French Grand Tour. The first indication we will get as to which rider has the better chance of standing on the Champs-Élysées podium in yellow coming on stage six when the peloton tackle La Planche Des Belles Filles.

“All I can do now is worry about myself in training and crack on with that," Thomas said, "but the stages I was in during the Tour de Suisse, I was feeling ok and getting better as it was going on. But we’ll soon find out what form I am in."

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.