Geraint Thomas has revealed his frustration at the Tour de France after Team Sky continued to back Chris Froome despite Thomas’ advantage.
In an interview with The Guardian, the first Welsh Tour winner said he believed he was a protected rider but the team continued to favour their regular leader.
Thomas, who won his first Grand Tour in 2018, added that he’d love to win the Tour again and that he feels his motivation is growing.
Before the team time trial on stage three, Thomas was told that the team would leave him if he punctured.
The 32-year-old said: “I was frustrated because I thought I was also a protected rider, but it’s not a decision they took lightly.
“They would have thought about it and debated it.
“It dragged me down a bit but you let it go.”
Despite the tension over who should lead the team as Thomas secured his advantage, the Welshman said he and Froome remain on good terms and that his fellow Brit congratulated him on the victory.
After the stage nine cobbles of the Roubaix stage, Thomas recalls another example of Froome being the favoured rider.
While staying in a scorching hotel room, the team all had air conditioning units but they tripped the electrical supply.
They were told that only one rider would be allowed to use their air-con, and that was Froome.
Thomas said he would love to win the Tour again, and that he feels he’s improving even at 32.
He adds that the Giro d’Italia feels like “unfinished business”.
When asked about Chris Froome’s adverse analytical finding for salbutamol, Thomas told The Guardian he first heard about the controversy when it appeared in the newspapers.
He added that authorities were right to clear Froome’s name.
And when asked about how he’s dealing with the fame, the Cardiff-born rider who now lives in Monaco said: “It’s mental.
“You walk to the Co-op to get some milk and 75% of people congratulate you.
“But at the same time, if you just want milk it can be intense.”
Thomas is promoting his book, The Tour According to G, which is due to be published on Thursday (November 1).