Welshman Geraint Thomas has signed up to British-based Team Sky for a further three years, the squad announced on Tuesday evening. The deal takes him up to the end of the 2014 season with the WorldTour-level team.
Thomas has impressed at the 2011 Tour de France with a show of versatility and strength. In the opening week, 25-year-old Thomas wore the white jersey of best young rider, just as he did in the opening week of the Tour last year.
He then played an active role in the race, leading out the squad’s Edvald Boasson Hagen to a stage win and taking part in a day-long breakaway on stage 12 that earned him the combativity award.
Earlier this year, Thomas placed a close second in Belgian semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen and won German stage race Bayern Rundfahrt overall. Thomas is an Olympic gold medallist on the track, having been part of Britain’s triumphant team pursuit squad in Beijing, 2008.
“It’s great news to be able to commit my future to Team Sky,” said Thomas.
“The team have shown their potential over the last 18 months and I am delighted to have been a part of that success. The management have shown real faith in me as a rider and I feel like I’m improving all the time.
“The future is really exciting for Team Sky and British Cycling and I’m thrilled I will be able to play a part in it.”
Dave Brailsford, Sky’s team principal, added: “We have been determined from the start to build and develop a team around the very best homegrown talent like Geraint.
“The last two weeks at the Tour de France have underlined again his world-class abilities and we look forward to seeing even more from him over the next three years.”
Thomas should perform well in the Tour de France’s penultimate stage, a 42.5km individual time trial around Grenoble. He placed seventh on an almost identical route used as the third stage of this year’s Criterium du Dauphine in June.
Thomas is also likely to play a key supporting role for Great Britain in Mark Cavendish’s bid to win the 2011 Road Race World Championship in Copenhagen in September.
Tour de France 2011: Related links
Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index