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Chris Froome says he'll support Geraint Thomas's bid for Tour de France glory

Defending champion willing to give up chance of record-equalling fifth victory in favour of current race leader and Sky team mate

Chris Froome has pledged to support Geraint Thomas as the Welshman enters the last week of the Tour de France with a lead of more than a minute and half over his Team Sky colleague.

Defending champion Froome, who is seeking a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title, is currently second overall, 1 minute 39 seconds down on the Welshman.

Sky News reports that at a rest day press conference today, Froome – who is also the reigning champion of the Vuelta and the Giro d’Italia – said: “As long as there is a Team Sky rider on the top step of the podium in Paris, I'm happy."

When asked whether he would abandon his own target of a fifth overall victory, which would put him alongside Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as the most successful riders in the race’s history, Froome replied: “Yes.”

There has been little sign of the same kind of tension between him and Thomas during the past fortnight as there was at Team Sky when Froome  finished second behind team mate Sir Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour de France.

At the end of yesterday’s Stage 15 to Carcassone, Froome and Thomas were chatting and smiling as they rode across the line in the General Classification group.

Today, Froome rejected questions about whether he might have targeted locations as the race heads into its final weeks in the Pyrenees where he could make up time on Thomas.

"All this talk of attacking or not attacking – we're in an amazing position, we're one and two," he pointed out.

"It's not up to us to be attacking. It’s for all the other riders in the peloton to make up time on us and dislodge us from the position we're in."

Thomas won back-to-back stages in the Alps last week to take the overall lead and then extend it, but while he has an impressive record in one-week races, including winning last month’s Criterium du Dauphiné, leading a Grand Tour going into the third week is uncharted territory for him.

He said: "Obviously the closer you get, the more you want to stay on the podium, but I'm still not really thinking about it.

"I'm thinking day by day. The dream was to be in with a shot of a podium and that's still on the cards. I'm trying to keep the same mindset."

Referring to yesterday’s expulsion from the race of his team mate Gianni Moscon for punching Fortuneo-Samsic rider Elie Gesbert during yesterday’s stage, Thomas said: "It's disappointing but there's nothing we can do.

"What's done is done. We just concentrate on the last week. We've still got a strong team. We're a rider down but all the boys are riding well together."

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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24 comments

Avatar
Rich_cb | 5 years ago
1 like

Good review of Salbutamol as a performance enhancer here:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165%2F11537540-000000000-00000

No evidence of inhaled Salbutamol being a performance enhancer.

Some weak evidence for oral or intravenous Salbutamol enhancing performance.

Avatar
vonhelmet | 5 years ago
0 likes

Salbutamol in isolation or in combination with other drugs? Via inhalation or via some other delivery mechanism? In a ludicrous quantity or just, you know, the odd shot of it?

I remember you posted something before but I’m buggered if I can be arsed looking it up, so if it’s at your fingertips I may as well ask you.

Avatar
rambino | 5 years ago
0 likes

[/quote]

Except when taken in quantaties that give you an unfair competitive advantage.

[/quote]

There have been many studies supposedly proving that salbutamol will not increase one's capacity for endurnace. That's why they removed the ban. They just didn't go far enough and do away with the TUE as well. 

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to rambino | 5 years ago
1 like
rambino wrote:
Quote:

Except when taken in quantaties that give you an unfair competitive advantage.

There have been many studies supposedly proving that salbutamol will not increase one's capacity for endurnace. That's why they removed the ban. They just didn't go far enough and do away with the TUE as well. 

Go on then, put a link up to these studies as I have studies that say Salbutamol will have a performance benefit. it than goes back down to study credibility (if you can indeed supply the evidence) and one's own opinion.

Avatar
rambino | 5 years ago
0 likes

[/quote]

Except when taken in quantaties that give you an unfair competitive advantage.

[/quote]

There have been many studies supposedly proving that salbutamol will not increase one's capacity for endurnace. That's why they removed the ban. They just didn't go far enough and do away with the TUE as well. 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
0 likes

I mentioned on a guardian TdF article last week that I could see Froome 'letting' Thomas win by a second or two just to stick it up the noses of the ASA/UCI, that would be absolute gold. 

The way Froome is talking especially the 'I've got a few more years left' in his interview yesterday it really does sound like this is going to be a TdF that SKY are wanting Thomas to take. So far he's earnt that yellow, it's impossible to know if Froome could have made any time up especially since Thomas has looked incredibly strong.

And if it is the case that Thomas wins it, it will be no small reward for his dedication to the success SKY have enjoyed due to his graft and sacrifice and absolutely deserved.

Avatar
rambino | 5 years ago
0 likes

Irrespective of whether you have asthma or not no amount of salbutamol is going to give you an unfair competitive advantage. It will bring a an asthma sufferer back to a level playing field but nothing beyond that. That's why the joke isn't funny. It was ridiculous to have such tight controls on it in the first place. It's needlessly dragged the whole sport back through the mud.

But back to the topic of Froome and Thomas...or should that be Froome 'vs' Thomas?

Tomorrow we'll find out I guess

 

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to rambino | 5 years ago
1 like
rambino wrote:

Irrespective of whether you have asthma or not no amount of salbutamol is going to give you an unfair competitive advantage. It will bring a an asthma sufferer back to a level playing field but nothing beyond that. That's why the joke isn't funny. It was ridiculous to have such tight controls on it in the first place. It's needlessly dragged the whole sport back through the mud.

But back to the topic of Froome and Thomas...or should that be Froome 'vs' Thomas?

Tomorrow we'll find out I guess

 

Except when taken in quantaties that give you an unfair competitive advantage.

Back to the topic of Froome and Thomas... Has anyone one four Grand Tours  consecutively?

Avatar
alansmurphy | 5 years ago
1 like

I can help here dreamlx...

 

I don't believe G claims he has asthma and as such an inhaler would be of no benefit to him. If he does have asthma then he'd have his own inhaler. It's not like exchanging a bike or a wheel at a critical time, I'd imagine that they wouldn't use one another's inhalers due to potential to spread illness.

 

Hope this helps you to understand.

 

 

Avatar
RobD | 5 years ago
1 like

I think the 60km stage will be make or break for Dumoulin, it's the sort of stage where Thomas and Froome if they've still got good form could really put in an attack, with someone like Bardet, if they're pushing at a faster pace than usual it could be really tricky for Dumoulin to do his usual pacing effort. If he's still there after that stage then it could be all to play for, I can't see him taking a minute and a half from Thomas in a 30km TT, especially with hills, but who knows, could be tense.

If Froome really does sacrifice himself to help G win then fair play to him, he's won enough that he doesn't really have to prove anything, and two second places to your team mates on top of 4 victories is pretty unique in itself.

Avatar
beigemaster | 5 years ago
2 likes

Question is, if one of them had a mechanical (after the other Sky riders have dropped off after they've pulled), would either of them be willing to give up their bike for the other? 

 

Why not just play big T at his own game i.e just sit on his wheel and wait for him to try and attack and whoever can/does follow claims the victory? (Tricky/brilliant Tour for me to watch really as I love all 3 of these guys!)  

Avatar
peted76 | 5 years ago
1 like

It ain't over till it's over.. Dumolin is looking stronger and stronger each day. Less of a case of if, more of a case of when and by how much... 

Avatar
Velomark replied to peted76 | 5 years ago
1 like
peted76 wrote:

It ain't over till it's over.. Dumolin is looking stronger and stronger each day. Less of a case of if, more of a case of when and by how much... 

Problem is that Dumoulin is not the sort of rider to attack in the mountains neither has he ever before when going for GC. His best chance is that the other riders fall away because the pace being set is too hard but since that would be Team Sky setting the pace it seems impossible.

 

I am a fan though and really hope Tom does manage to win somehow. I think given his age and the strength of his team hes a more talented rider than both Froome and Thomas.

Avatar
Shades replied to peted76 | 5 years ago
0 likes
peted76 wrote:

It ain't over till it's over.. Dumolin is looking stronger and stronger each day. Less of a case of if, more of a case of when and by how much... 

Dumoulin is, in theory, Thomas's 'best mate' at the moment keeping Froome 'nice and close'.  Wondering whether it'll be a repeat of the 2011 Cadel Evans victory in the TT?

Avatar
dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
1 like

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet replied to dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
10 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

Avatar
dreamlx10 replied to Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

Avatar
pwake replied to dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
13 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

 

If you insist on using the word 'fanboy' then it's going to be taken away from you.

Avatar
dreamlx10 replied to pwake | 5 years ago
0 likes
pwake wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

 

If you insist on using the word 'fanboy' then it's going to be taken away from you.

And the second bite !

Avatar
hoski replied to dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
4 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:
pwake wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

 

If you insist on using the word 'fanboy' then it's going to be taken away from you.

And the second bite !

Would you like a third?

I *think* what people are trying to tell you is that it's not actually funny and is probably quite offputting and alienating to others. For example if you'd made such a comment in company I'd expect the reaction to be eye-rolling and a slightly uncomfortable silence. You're not obliged to take this feedback on but you may find it useful. HTH.

Avatar
dreamlx10 replied to hoski | 5 years ago
0 likes
hoski wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
pwake wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

 

If you insist on using the word 'fanboy' then it's going to be taken away from you.

And the second bite !

Would you like a third?

I *think* what people are trying to tell you is that it's not actually funny and is probably quite offputting and alienating to others. For example if you'd made such a comment in company I'd expect the reaction to be eye-rolling and a slightly uncomfortable silence. You're not obliged to take this feedback on but you may find it useful. HTH.

What makes you think I was trying to be funny ? I'll take your response a s a third bite

Avatar
vonhelmet replied to dreamlx10 | 5 years ago
3 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:
hoski wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
pwake wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:
Yorkshire wallet wrote:
dreamlx10 wrote:

Go on Chris, give him a puff of your inhaler

If you can't use that joke properly it's going to be taken away from you.

 

First Sky fanboy bite of the day

 

If you insist on using the word 'fanboy' then it's going to be taken away from you.

And the second bite !

Would you like a third?

I *think* what people are trying to tell you is that it's not actually funny and is probably quite offputting and alienating to others. For example if you'd made such a comment in company I'd expect the reaction to be eye-rolling and a slightly uncomfortable silence. You're not obliged to take this feedback on but you may find it useful. HTH.

What makes you think I was trying to be funny ? I'll take your response a s a third bite

Everyone is really impressed, you know.

Avatar
Shades | 5 years ago
1 like

Unless one of them has a bad day in the Pyranees, I can't see how they'd achieve a 'managed' transfer of race leader from Thomas to Froome without potentially risking Dumoulin spoiling the party in the TT.  Perhaps it was a condition in Thomas's contract extension; at least one shot at winning the Tour!  Funny how that time split between Thomas and Froome didn't seem that important in the early stages but now it's quite 'complex'.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
2 likes

Given his ability to pull back 4 minutes in a day I'd not be too comfortable if I was Thomas until Big Dave has set this in stone.

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