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Geraint Thomas on brink of Tour de France win

 

By Ian Parker

Geraint Thomas admitted he might struggle to sleep as he stands on the verge of winning the Tour de France.

Thomas finished second on yesterday's final mountain test, extending his lead over Tom Dumoulin to two minutes and five seconds ahead of today's decisive time trial.

LottoNL-Jumbo's Primoz Roglic took the stage win in Laruns, 19 seconds ahead, to dislodge Thomas' Sky team-mate Chris Froome from the podium on a day when the four-time Tour winner struggled to keep pace on the last climb.

But all eyes are now on the gap between Thomas and Dumoulin in anticipation of a rolling 31 kilometre time trial, which will set the final general classification order before tomorrow's procession into Paris.

"I hope I'll be able to sleep," Thomas said. "It was a big day and I'm happy to get that ticked off."

Thomas has never been so close to such a major win in his road career, but the two-time Olympic team pursuit champion is no stranger to pressure.

"I guess it's a bit like the Olympic final in London. That was big tension the day before, but at least with this it's kind of spread out.

"I think I can just take confidence with how I've been riding, recover as best as possible and what will be will be."

This, Thomas said, is "squeaky bum time". But though Dumoulin may be the world time trial champion, all the signs so far in this Tour suggest Thomas has the legs to defend his advantage.

"I'm not taking anything for granted," he said. "I just want to get out there and do the best ride I can.

"It's nice to have that buffer. I don't have to take any risks but I've still got to get through it."

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