THOMAS AND WEGELIUS READY FOR THE TOUR
The enormity of the Tour de France hit Geraint Thomas yesterday after a trip to Excel for his pre race medical. The 21-year-old Welshman takes a massive leap forward in his career tomorrow when he launches down the start ramp on Whitehall.
“It hit home having the medical and seeing the organisation and all the media,” Thomas said. “But I can’t wait to get going now, it feels like quite a while since they announced I was in it, although it’s gone real quick at the same time. I just can’t wait to get on that start ramp at the prologue.”
“I’m obviously going to get stuck in to the racing and do what the team want me to do. In the prologue I’m going to ride flat out, I may as well, it’s only eight ‘k’.”
Thomas, who admits that he didn’t think he’d be riding in the Tour until 2009 is looking forward to racing against his old friend Mark Cavendish, “It’ll be quite strange racing with him. To be along side Cav on the start line of tomorrow’s stage will be pretty special.
“We’ve been racing with each other since we were 13 or 14; little crits in the north of England somewhere, just messing about. It’s quite different these days.”
Charley Wegelius has several Grand Tours under his belt, although he still admits he faces a leap into the unknown, “I haven’t raced between the Giro and the Tour, so it’s quite a unique situation,” he said.
“It’s the Tour de France and it’s not like any other bike race, I think the racing style is different, there’s not going to be any stages that start slowly, and everybody’s who’s here is flying. There’s nobody who’s in this race for preparation for anything else.
“I’m told it’s the most stressful race in the world to be a bike rider on, ask me at the end and I’ll tell you.”