Five-time Olympic Games gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins says there is much more than normal riding on Tokyo 2020 - and he thinks that Team GB's Geraint Thomas might find his disappointing Tour de France to be a "blessing in disguise".
Reflecting on the opening ceremony live on Eurosport, he enthused: "You wouldn't think that this was an empty stadium - there's still quite a lot of noise, quite a lot of bustling going on.
"But what it does mean is that the Olympics is finally happening. And there's been so much talk and so much speculation over the last few months, whether it would or wouldn't, but it's finally here...
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What it means [for] a lot of athletes is their events are fast approaching, and it's now five years of training this time, not four - there's a lot riding on it."
And he revealed that he had spoken to Thomas en route to Japan - and he was recovering well from the dislocated shoulder he sustained during the Tour.
"The best thing he did was stay on the Tour de France, he was in the best environment preparing for the Olympics, and he might just show the form he showed before the Tour de France.
"And having recovered from his injuries, it might have been a blessing in disguise because he always performs on the Olympic stage - let's not forget he nearly won the road race five years ago in Rio, so Geraint is someone to look at."

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