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Tour de France

Is Geraint Thomas hinting at a support role for Tour de France?

'I don’t think that the result in Suisse will necessarily be why I make the team or not,' says former Tour winner.

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Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) remains fully focused on making the cut for the Tour de France team with Ineos Grenadiers set to announce their final eight-rider roster after the conclusion of the Tour de Suisse.

Thomas is in Switzerland and has been faultless in the race so far, making the key split on stage 1 and even snaffling up three bonus seconds on stage 3 before setting up Tom Pidcock for the sprint finish.

There will be much sterner mountain tests to come in the latter stages of Suisse, but Thomas is attempting to show that his form is on the rise and that he can play an important role in the team’s ambitions at the Tour.

Also read: Analyzing Ineos Grenadiers’ Tour de France long list

Team boss Rod Ellingworth has already indicated that the squad will back Adam Yates and Dani Martinez for the GC at the Tour and that Thomas is still fighting for a place within the final eight-man team.

If selected for the Tour, the 2018 winner would likely slot into a super-domestique role, bringing his valuable experience as well as his all-round talents to the team. Leading out sprinters, taking bonus seconds, supporting the GC riders in Suisse, and putting in a decent showing in the individual time trial will do Thomas’s selection hopes no harm at all.

When asked by VeloNews if the GC result in the Tour de Suisse would help determine his selection for the Tour, the Welshman hinted that his general performance was probably more important than the final standings.

“I don’t think that the result will necessarily be why I make the team or not. But if you’re going well and showing good form then it’s always good for my own confidence. The team, and with my role, I’ll be able to fit in there. All being well I hope to be in the team, it’s just about what I actually have to do within that really,” Thomas said.

The sight of the veteran rider jumping clear and taking bonus seconds at the final intermediate check will not have gone unnoticed. The 36-year-old is now up to fourth overall, just seven seconds off the race lead. According to Thomas the move to take the bonus seconds wasn’t part of the plan.

“It was just that we saw that the break was coming back and that there were bonus seconds up for grabs. We just went for it. It was better that we get it rather than someone else really. Luke took me forward and nobody else seemed that keen to get them. For the GC, I don’t think that three seconds are going to make much difference with the terrain that we’ve got to do and the time trial but it’s more about the opportunity to take the seconds,” he said.