Geraint Thomas looking forward to ‘incredible’ British Tour de France Grand Depart

Geraint Thomas looking forward to ‘incredible’ British Tour de France Grand Depart


Geraint Thomas is looking forward to starting his fifth Tour de France when the 101st edition of the race starts on Saturday in Leeds.

The 28-year-old first rode the Tour de France when he was 21 and Saturday will be the second time that the Welshman has experienced the Tour on home roads.

"It's great for it to come back here," said the two-time Olympic team-pursuit gold medallist, speaking to the Press Association.  

"I rode in 2007 when it was in London and that was incredible and cycling's only got bigger since.”

The 2007 Tour de France featured a stage from London to Canterbury, one of a handful of times that the event has made the journey across the English Channel.

"(I’m) really looking forward to it and the atmosphere's going to be unbelievable,” Thomas continued.

"It's great to show how far British cycling has come. You look back at the Athens Olympics (in 2004), it was nowhere anywhere near this.

"I was 18 then and never would've dreamt I'd be here starting my fifth Tour de France, second time in the UK, in a British team looking to win the Tour for a third successive year.

Geraint Thomas is a key part of the nine-man team selected by Team Sky to attempt to propel Chris Froome to a second successive victory. Thomas has shown his form already in 2014, winning the Bayern Rundfahrt for the second time after a strong showing in Paris-Roubaix.

The rider’s skills on the cobbles will be a key attribute in the first week, when Thomas will have to shepherd Froome on a number of cobbled stages, using pave sectors from the infamous ‘Hell of the North’ itself.

Victory for Froome will mean a third successive British win, a scenario unthinkable for Thomas and cycling fans a few years ago.  

"It's kind of a dream. I don't think anyone would've predicted it and it's great for the sport. Hopefully it can continue to grow."

Geraint Thomas is one of four British riders competing in the 2014 Tour de France alongside countrymen Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Simon Yates.

Follow their fortunes in our stage-by-stage interactive Tour de France guide.