Geraint Thomas came out on top in one of the Tour de France’s hardest stages today in Arenberg. He captured the white jersey of best young rider and sits second overall after finishing second from an elite escape group.
“It was a massive buzz going across the cobbles in the front group with Fabian Cancellara and Thor Hushovd and Cadel Evans – you don’t get any better group than that.”
Thomas made the elite group in sector four of seven, Sars-et-Rosières, when the crash of Fränk Schleck helped split the front group. He was encouraged by having Sky team-mate Steve Cummings further up the road. Cummings had escaped in an early break and dropped back to help Thomas.
“It was exactly what we planned for,” Cummings explained. “I gave ‘G’ a bottle and did a little turn for Brad.”
Brad Wiggins was just behind Thomas’ group, in a group with two-time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador.
“I knew this morning,” said Wiggins, “that it was going to be those who went out there with a fighting mentality would come out the other side well today.
“It was carnage, but we knew it was going to be carnage, we’ve known for seven months. Fortunately, we ended up on the right side of it and we’re back in business.”
Thomas wanted to drop back and help Wiggins gain even more time on their rivals. However, Sky’s sports director, Sean Yates, told Thomas to push ahead for the stage and the white jersey.
It’s the first time for a Brit to pull on the white jersey since David Millar in 2000. Thomas, if he plays his cards correctly, can hold on to it for at least four more days, when the race hits the high mountains.
“I don’t know, anything can happen,” said Thomas. “But hopefully I should be in it for a while.”
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
Vande Velde abandons Tour following crash
Andy Schleck has a laugh after stage two crash
The Feed Zone: News and views (July 5)
Sky banks on Thomas ahead of cobbled stage
Cavendish’s sprint train weakened with Hansen out
Armstrong under fire as Landis allegations reach mainstream
Team Sky’s decision to put Wiggins off early back fires
Millar and Thomas hold their nerve in Rotterdam rain
Armstrong defiant in wake of latest revelations
Thomas looks to prologue and sporting new stripes|
Florencio kicked out of Cervelo team on eve of Tour
Tour teams presented in Rotterdam: What the riders said
Andy Schleck faces rough ride over Tour cobbles
Riis: Tour is the goal for Schlecks despite sponsor problems
Armstrong on Arenberg: There will be carnage
Cavendish set for green jersey battle at the Tour
Hunt and Lloyd look forward to making their Tour debuts
>> Struggling to get to the shops try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Tour de France 2010: Photos
Tour de France 2010: Videos
Tour de France 2010: Race guide
Tour de France 2010: Pictures