Geraint Thomas says he is “happy to do whatever” at the Tour de France after leadership questions emerged following his overall victory at the Tour de Suisse.
Thomas, 36, became the first British winner of the Tour de Suisse after finishing second in the individual time trial on Sunday.
The 2018 Tour de France champion was not expected to lead Ineos Grenadiers but took charge after Dani Martinez lost time on the opening stage and Adam Yates tested positive for Covid-19.
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Ineos have not confirmed their final selection for the Tour, but Thomas, Martinez and Yates are all expected to go if fit. Who would be the team leader is unclear right now.
“I’m easy. I just want to go there, race hard and do what I can,” said Thomas after his Tour de Suisse win.
“We’ve got two other leaders in the team. Whether I stay up on GC [general classification] for a while to play another card or go for stages or help other guys – whatever, I’m happy [to] do whatever. I’ll take my chance, for sure, if it comes. And I’ll help the boys if I have to.”
Ineos (previously Team Sky) have seen their domination of the Tour de France slip as Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has won the last two editions of the race.
Pogacar is expected to be a strong contender again this summer along with Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic.
Thomas admits the Slovenian duo are "super talented" but thinks Ineos have the collective talent to match them.
“I think as a team we can, for sure. Man versus man is definitely a different story. They’re super talented and as we all know, they’ve been the MVPs of the couple of years.
Highlights from Tour de Suisse, as Evenepoel wins stage and Thomas takes title
“But I think we’ve got a strong team. It’s just about staying healthy now, which is easier said than done these days. But we’ve got a strong team, we’re all motivated, and we’re all going to go there and give it our best.”
When Thomas won the Tour in 2018 he prefaced it by winning the Criterium du Dauphine.
Asked whether victory at the Tour de Suisse could set him up for another Grand Tour win this summer, he said: “I don’t know about that, but it’s nice to get the win.
“From the Tour last year to the end of the season was really hard, probably the hardest period of my career. At the start of this year, I was slightly on the back foot but I just enjoyed the racing and being with the younger guys on the team and building up. It’s super nice to be at the pointy end again.”
Thomas started the final time trial two seconds behind leader Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe), but his impressive showing saw him win the GC by one minute and 12 seconds.
Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) won the stage by three seconds from Thomas.
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