Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thomas ready for tough Tour defence

Thomas ready for tough Tour defence

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Geraint Thomas. Getty Images/AFP

Thomas ready for tough Tour defence

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas says he faces a tougher challenge this year defending his crown as there are so many riders capable of competing for the podium spots.

The 33-year-old Welshman – who upset the form book last year to beat his team-mate and four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome – told the Daily Telegraph he had enjoyed the accolades but he was also glad that was all over and he had been able to focus on retaining his crown.

Thomas – like Froome riding for Ineos after they stepped in when Sky ended their sponsorship – found himself much in demand from having a selfie with football superstar Lionel Messi to being the main attraction at half-time of Wales’s 9-6 win over Australia in their rugby Test last November.

He appears unconcerned by indifferent form thus far this season – third in last month’s Tour of Romandie the highlight – saying he will be shipshape when the race begins in Brussels on July 6.

“Though whether that [being in perfect shape] will be enough we will see,” said Thomas.

“Everyone’s improving. The competition is definitely tougher this year. There are a lot of guys who could potentially podium.

“I just have to stick to the philosophy I’ve always had, which is just to do the best I can do.

“I can’t affect how [Tom] Dumoulin goes, or Yatesy [Adam Yates] or Richie [Porte] or Jumbo-Visma with Steven Kruijswijk or [Primoz] Roglic.”

Thomas, who has just finished two weeks of altitude training, says the attention he received after his victory – he won the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award (Spoty) – had been overwhelming.

“I’m still a bit bowled over by it to be honest,” he said.

“I’m surprised by how well the book has done. Winning Spoty was . . . incredible. That was an amazing night. Especially up against Harry Kane with how England did at the World Cup in Russia."

“Although having said that England didn’t really beat anyone did they? And Kane only scored a couple of penalties and a deflection . . .” he added with trademark impish humour.

However, Thomas, who says he is not far off his optimum racing weight of 67kg (10st 7lb), knew last November the party circuit was not for him.

“Even though I still had three weeks of doing stuff [appearances], I was itching to get back on the bike,” he said.

“That’s when I knew I’d be OK. Because I knew I didn’t want to be doing that [partying] anymore.”


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,