Geraint Thomas will help lead team Sky’s new focus at the Tour de France in the next two weeks after Bradley Wiggins abandoned.
“In those middle, undulating stages he’s an ideal man for the break away,” Sean Yates said. “He’s got a fair turn of speed and can get up the climbs.”
Sky’s sports director, Yates responded to Cycling Weekly after seventh leg to Châteauroux yesterday. Team classification leader, Wiggins crashed with 51 kilometres remaining. He fractured his left collarbone and returned to home, leaving the team to shift its focus.
Thomas is part of Sky’s new focus.
“Anything’s possible, but he’s not going to win on the Alp d’Huez!” Yates added.
“It’s not over, the GC’s over, but the rest goes own.”
After Wiggins crash, the race’s leading group left Thomas and his other team-mates behind. Yates said the team gave no thought to protecting Thomas’ lead in the young riders’ classification.
“If Bradley’s down, everyone’s down.”
Thomas finished 3-06 minutes back and dropped to 38th overall, sixth in the young riders’ classification. His focus, as with his team-mates, is on a stage win now.
“We’ve lost our team leader, GC contender. It’s disappointing for the team. We have to put it behind us. It’s sport and that’s what happens,” Thomas said to the press at the team’s bus.
“We are going to take it day by day now, and just attack it.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen gave Sky its first stage win on Thursday in Lisieux. The team faces Super-Besse today, the first of five mountain-top finishes.
Thomas may have his chance to Saint-Flour tomorrow. He’s also suited to stage 10 to Carmaux, stage 11 to Lavaur and stage 16 to Gap.
“The role of each individual has changed,” added Yates in a television interview. “We got one in the bag and we will hunt for more. Rigoberto is a good climber, he can pinpoint of some of the mountain stages.
“We will bounce back with some good performances between here and Paris.”
Tour de France 2011: Related links
Sky devastated by Wiggins’ exit from Tour
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index