Geraint Thomas admits he would “love to win another” Tour de France but stressed he would not lose time on purpose if Team Ineos Grenadiers’ strategy is to pick another leader.
Fresh from becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de Suisse, Thomas is switching his focus to the Tour de France, which starts on July 1.
As well as Thomas, Ineos also boast Adam Yates and Daniel Martinez in their ranks, leading to speculation as to who could lead the team.
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Thomas had said he was “happy to do whatever”, but the 2018 champion has since hinted he is more suited to the first week of the Tour de France’s course than his team-mates.
"I am pretty relaxed about it, it is all about getting there in the best shape possible," he told BBC Sport Wales.
"Whatever happens I am not going to purposely lose time, so hopefully I will be there or thereabouts.
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"It is the cards that the team have to play with, whether that is to purely help the other guys or to take a chance myself."
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He added: "Danny, going into the race you would have thought he has the calibre to win, same with Adam, so we have got three guys who can all perform really well.
"But we all know what the Tour is like, that first week is just crazy and with the cobbles this year and some windy stages, it is more of a case of get through that first week and see where we stand.
"It is not out of the question but I would be quite surprised if three of us were all in the top 10 after the first week, just because how dangerous it is with all the crashes.
"Plus that first week is not necessarily suited to Adam or Danny really, but then you have got all the mountains to come after that."
Two-time winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) will be the man to beat in France, with Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic expected to a contender once more after their memorable 2020 tussle.
Thomas, however, believes Ineos can topple the “super talented” Slovenian duo – so long as they work as a team.
“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,” Thomas said.
“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.”
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