While the likes of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador make their way round the Critérium du Dauphiné with July and the Tour de France never far from the forefront of their minds, Geraint Thomas is planning to get fully immersed in the Tour de Suisse, going “full gas” to win the race.
The Welshman came second overall by five seconds last year, paving the way to a breakthrough performance at the Tour, which led him to place all his eggs in the stage racing basket for 2016 and beyond. This July has taken on greater significance as Thomas hopes to be a protected rider behind Froome at Team Sky, but the nine-day outing in Switzerland, starting on Saturday, won’t be a mere training ride or exercise in resource management.
“I’ll be going full gas, emptying the tank, and getting the most out of myself,” Thomas told Cyclingnews.
“When you’re in a race you have to go full gas. I don’t go to races just to roll around, even if you haven’t got the condition to win you still turn yourself inside out – that’s just the way I am.”
Thomas has mixed emotions from the Tour de Suisse; he missed out on overall victory to Simon Spilak last year by an excruciatingly slim margin but it was a race that provided a ‘groundbreaking’ moment in his emergence as a stage race contender.
Going into the race, some feared the hors catégorie summit finish atop the Rettenbach Glacier would prevent him from contesting the overall. However, on his first long, steep, high-altitude climb as a leader rather than domestique, he put in a remarkable performance to climb with the best and finish fifth.
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