GERAINT Thomas’ Tour de France preparations continued with a second place finish in the British National Championship road race.
Welshman Thomas, who is based in Newton during the cycling off-season, trailed team-mate Bradley Wiggins by 35 seconds to relinquish the national title he won last year.
The performance will give both Thomas and Wiggins confidence before the start of the Tour on Saturday.
Thomas will act as a ‘domestique’ to Wiggins, who is one of the favourites for a top three finish.
However, the 25-year-old’s current form and displays in last year’s race mean he’ll also be expecting to steal some of the glory from his illustrious boss.
In 2010, Thomas was one of the stand-out riders of the Tour, wearing the best young rider’s white jersey for several days, and coming within a matter of seconds from wearing the leaders’ yellow jersey.
“I’m obviously going to try my best to win it again, but it’s going to be hard as it looks a bit of an easier course than last year so a lot more guys can race it,” said Thomas.
He has identified the second stage – the team time trial – as a key stage which could see Wiggins claim yellow, and put Thomas back in white.
“It’s a bit like last year; if I happen to be in the position to take it then it would be great, but at the same time, it’s my role to work for Brad for the general classification.
“It would be a nice bonus if anything like that happened again.”