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LOURDES, France (VN) — Geraint Thomas and his Sky teammates are not paying attention to the growing horde of doubters who criticize the team’s dominance at the Tour de France.
Yellow jersey Chris Froome came under fire yet again following his impressive performance through the first 11 days of this Tour. The supposed hacking of power numbers from his 2013 stage victory atop Mont Ventoux has only added fuel to the fire.
Thomas, however, insists the riders are not letting the growing chatter detract them from the task at hand.
“It’s not nice to hear that, but what can you do? It’s how people are. There will always be haters,” Thomas told reporters Wednesday. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing, and stay focused on the job. We’re having a laugh, and staying off Twitter and all that crap, and just enjoy it.”
What Thomas said Sky enjoys right now is racing and winning the Tour on its own terms, and so far, the British team’s run across the 2015 Tour has been near-perfect. On Wednesday, Thomas and teammate Richie Porte led the peloton over the Col du Tourmalet.
Thomas admitted the team cannot completely tune out the critics, but they don’t want to focus on negative input when they have the yellow jersey firmly in their grasp.
“It’s sad how the sport is at the moment, but you can kind of understand, considering its past,” he said. “It’s sad that when you ride well, you get accused of stuff. In tennis or football, you have a really good performance, no one questions that. I’m not saying they’re doing anything wrong, but you ride your bike well, and everyone thinks you’re cheating.”
So far through the 2015 Tour, Thomas has been one of the key pillars of a very impressive Sky team. Thomas was instrumental in helping guide Froome safely across the first week of racing, and now he’s showing off new climbing chops in the Pyrénées.
Strong results this year, with victory at the Volta ao Algarve, second at Tour de Suisse, and fifth at Paris-Nice, hint at future GC potential for Thomas, 29.
Right now, it’s all about delivering Froome to Paris in yellow. And he said the growing chorus of doubters isn’t going to distract them from the job.
“I am happy with how I am going, how the team is working, and I know I have a clear conscience, and that’s all that matters,” Thomas said. “Chris [Froome] is a super-athlete. He’s made his way the hard way, and he’s thick-skinned.”
When asked about now-disgraced Lance Armstrong’s imminent return to the Tour, riding with a charity group, Thomas said, “We couldn’t care less about what he’s doing, to be honest. He’s done enough harm for us. We’re paying the price for what he’s done. We are just in our little world, we’re having a laugh, racing the Tour. Lance can do whatever he wants.”