Thomas in Combative Mood

Geraint ThomasSky’s Welsh wonder Geraint Thomas served up one of the most impressive and determined rides of the Tour de France yesterday (July 14) on the 211km Cugnaux to Luz-Ardiden Stage 12. Although ultimately the big prize of the day went to Spaniard Samuel Sánchez of Euskaltel-Euskadi (thus robbing French riders of a Bastille Day victory) Thomas was the rightful winner of the “Combative” award for his blistering display of leg work across two major peeks and a climb finish.  At one point he looked certain to be the first Brit to bag a High Mountain stage since Robert Millar back in 1989, with Tour commentator Chris Boardman succinctly putting it: “This was the day when he discovered what he is capable of and what he can do.” As if he had set out to prove that pride really does come after and not before a fall, Thomas had twice lost control of the bike on descents and careered off the road, on one occasion leaping clear of his bike to avoid an unfavourable looking plummet over the edge.


But as Thomas’s star continues to rise, Alberto Contador’s certainly appears to be in retrograde – cracking under the mounting pressure from the likes of the Schleck brothers and Cadel Evans, he seemed to pretty much give up the ghost in the final few kilometres on a stage that, in previous years, he would have made his own.


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