Tour: Froome and Thomas beat the ‘Hardest’ version
Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, and 2018 winner Geirant Thomas, admitted today that this edition was “extremely tough”, however, seeking to enjoy the positive side of the “beautiful race” that was dedicated to them.
“This Tour of France was, for me, very challenging, very different from all the previous races, but I am happy to be back in this beautiful race,” declared the only rider to have won on four occasions (2017, 2016), 2015 and 2013).
The 36-year-old Briton will finish his ninth participation in the French Grand Prix, finishing second in 2012 and third in 2018 and winning seven stages, the last of which was in 2016, a very modest 134th among 142 runners, more than four hours earlier for the Slovenian winner Tadej. Pojakar (UAE)
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence. I hope to get back to my best level, step by step,” said the winner of two Vuelta a España and one Vuelta a Italia.
Froomey, who was sidelined for eight months due to a dangerous drop in Dauphine’s benchmark in June 2019, failed the 2019 Tour as he was recovering, and last year, he was not selected by INEOS, precipitating his move to Israel Start – Up Nation, after 11 season in the British team structure.
Geraint Thomas, the last “lost” by INEOS in the 2020 edition, returned to lead the Britons in this “Grande Boucle”, but it was a disappointing performance marked by a serious third-stage relegation.
“Honestly, this was definitely the hardest ride I’ve ever taken, both mentally and physically,” he admitted.
The winner in 2018, and the following year’s runner-up, did not give up the race, despite physical ills and difficulties, for being the type to give “100%”. He added, “You can’t turn away and give up. I’ve had some dark moments, but the team helped me get through them.”
Despite ranking 42nd overall, more than two hours later than the young Slovenian youth, the 35-year-old Welchmann said he enjoyed experiencing the time today, which was slow and restricted to the enjoyment of the crowd, without having to worry about “falls or people falling.” in front or back.
The 108th Tour de France kicked off June 26 in Brest and ends on Sunday in Paris.