Thomas prepared for tough defence of Tour de France | Sunday Observer

Thomas prepared for tough defence of Tour de France

Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas

LONDON AFP: Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas says he faces a tougher challenge this year defending his crown as there are so many riders capable of competing for the podium spots.

The 33-year-old Welshman -- who upset the form book last year to beat his team-mate and four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome -- told The Daily Telegraph he had enjoyed the accolades but he was also glad that was all over and he had been able to focus on retaining his crown.

Thomas -- like Froome riding for Ineos after they stepped in when Sky ended their sponsorship -- found himself much in demand from having a selfie with football superstar Lionel Messi to being the main attraction at half-time of Wales’s 9-6 win over Australia in their rugby Test last November.

He appears unconcerned by indifferent form thus far this season -- third in last month’s Tour of Romandie the highlight -- saying he will be shipshape when the race begins in Brussels on July 6.