Geraint Thomas hopes that in the coming days he can repeat last year’s success in the Alps to move into the overall lead and have a chance at winning the 2019 Tour de France.
Thomas (Team Ineos) took the yellow jersey in La Rosière and won the Alpe d’Huez stage the following day in the yellow jersey in 2019. He currently sits second overall at 1-35 minutes behind race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
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“Last year was pretty good in the Alps, so if I could do something similar, it’d be really nice,” Thomas said. “It’s just a totally different situation now, but I’m looking forward to it.
“You’d think Alaphilippe would be starting to get tired now, so I guess teams will be trying and make it hard all day. It’ll be an interesting big three days, I think a lot can happen.”
Stage 18 finishes with a 19.5-kilometre descent of the Galibier to Valloire. The following two days end at altitude and will definitively shape the 2019 Tour.
Behind Alaphilippe, just 39 seconds separates the next five contenders.
“I think every day is going to be important. Obviously, the last one is the last of the Tour and a super long, hard climb to finish there, and a lot can happen tomorrow. So I think they are all important,” Thomas continued.
“It’s gonna be tough tomorrow – three long climbs, high altitude. I quite like riding at altitude, it doesn’t seem to affect me as much as some people.
“It’s not summit finish tomorrow, but if you have 30 to 40 seconds over the top, it’ll be hard to bring that back anyone. It’s not too technical a descent, it’s pretty fast and straight.
“But it’s still going to be tough for the two previous climbs as well.”
Thomas said that he thought his knee might be “a little stiff” but that he was fine today following his crash on stage 15.
“I’ve been feeling a lot better,” Thomas added. “But anything can happen. We’ve seen in this race already that so much has happened and I’m sure a lot will continue to.”