Over the years Team Sky has been able to attract and produce the best riders and for Geraint Thomas it has been helpful as he has been able to learn from the best.
In an interview with Cycling Weekly in which the Welshman discussed everything from beer to possibly winning the Tour de France, he also spoke about some of his former teammates including Richie Porte who departed for Team BMC and also Britain’s first ever winner of the Tour Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Both Porte and Wiggins are able to climb well, and in the Grand Tours climbing is essential in giving you the best chance for success. And it is climbing that Thomas is really starting to excel in, saying: “It’s something I’ve only just got good at.”
But talking about the Aussie and Wiggins, he said: “The biggest difference is they’ve always been able to climb really well.”
It’s no secret that the 29-year-old is a successful track rider; he has won a number of medals, including gold in the team pursuit at London 2012. But for the track you have to utilise a whole different set of skills, which are not necessarily useful to the road.
Thomas not sure how he would deal with team disharmony
There will always be problems and conflicts in any professional sports team and Sky have had their share of problems and controversy off the bike.
One notable one was in 2012 when Chris Froome, then in aid for Wiggins decided to attack the Yellow jersey holder on Stage 8 on the climb to La Toussuire which has since created friction between the pair.
It was an incident which Sir Dave Brailsford and Sky handled well, saying it was a lapse in communication between the pair out on the road. But if it ever happened to Thomas and Froome now, the E3 Harelbeke winner takes a slightly different stance.
Thomas feels the key to avoiding a situation similar to Wiggins and Froome in 2012, is to not have one at all,“the plan is to try and be good enough to have that problem.”
In a pressure cooker like the Tour, riders don’t have much time to think on their feet, so sometimes decisions are made with haste rather than clarity.
“When that comes it’s just a split-second decision on the road. It all depends about what’s going on in the race as well,” admitted Thomas.