BEST TOUR DE FRANCE STAGES
This year’s journey to yellow may have started in the Vendée and ended in Paris but Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France career had many a twist and turn before it got there
2010 Stage 3 Wanze > arenberg Porte Du Hainaut
It was only Thomas’s third Grand Tour and his first Tour de France since his debut in London three years earlier. However, this was a more polished Thomas resplendent in the British champion’s jersey in Team Sky’s first Tour de France.
Rather than just glide round the cobbles and stay out of trouble, the 24-year-old drove the front group to maintain their gap before taking second on the sprint to the line behind stage victor and eventual green jersey winner Thor Hushovd. Thomas’s performance resulted in a stint in the white jersey, which he would hold until stage seven, the one shining light in a disappointing debut Tour de France for Sky.
2013 Stage 1 Porto-vecchio > bastia
After a year’s hiatus from the Tour to focus on the team pursuit on the track at the London Olympics, Thomas’s return started with a bang, unfortunately not the bang he would have hoped for.
On a stage that will be remembered for the Oricagreenedge team bus getting stuck underneath the finish gantry, Thomas found himself crashing on the run-in to Bastia. A fractured pelvis looked like it might end his race before it had even begun, as he was lifted onto the bike to roll home in last place.
However, Thomas said after the crash that he hadn’t turned up just to do a lap of France, showing that he was keen to contribute despite struggling to mount the bike in the following days. With two hard days in Corsica to follow as well as a high-paced all-out team time trial around Nice a few days later, Thomas showed his mettle to grind through the stages ahead of the time cut and even contribute to the team’s efforts in the mountain ranges. Thomas made it all the way to Paris, while Chris Froome took overall victory.
2014 Stage 5 YPRES > arenberg Porte Du Hainaut
Four years after his first Grand Tour jaunt on the cobbles, Thomas had proven his pedigree on the rough stuff with top 10s in Flanders and Paris-roubaix earlier that year. Therefore a wet day on northern French farm tracks was hardly out of his comfort zone. On the day where Chris Froome crashed out, Thomas guided lightweight back-up team leader Richie Porte across the cobbles in the pouring rain.
It reinforced his super domestique status and prompted boss Dave Brailsford to coin the phrase ‘Plan G’,
“Dave Brailsford coined the phrase ‘Plan G’, suggesting that leadership duties might await”
The junior Paris-roubaix winner made light work of the cobbles of northern France in 2010