Belfast Telegraph

Thomas stays positive despite backlash

 

By Ian Parker

Geraint Thomas shrugged off the boos which continue to come Team Sky's way at the Tour de France as he enjoyed another day in the yellow jersey.

Thomas finished safely in the pack as Magnus Cort Nielsen won stage 15 to Carcassone from a breakaway, keeping Thomas one minute 39 seconds clear of team-mate Chris Froome, with Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin a further 11 seconds back.

But after standing on the podium to collect the yellow jersey for a fifth straight night, Thomas faced more questions about the negative reaction Team Sky so often get at the Tour.

If the situation is getting to the Welshman, he was not about to show it.

"For me this is the highlight of my career, it's a massive honour and privilege to be wearing the jersey and have such an incredible race so far," he said. "There's a bit of negativity around and it isn't nice but at the end of the day you need to stay strong in your head and crack on.

"The way I see it, I'd rather be in this jersey having the race of my life and getting booed than being 30th and dropped on the first climb and everyone cheering me on."

On a day when the French newspaper Liberation wrongly described Froome's recent salbutamol case as a 'positive test' which was 'whitewashed' by the UCI, Thomas said questions about why there is ill-feeling towards Team Sky was perhaps one for the French press.

"It's not a nice situation, and obviously we would prefer everyone to love us, but I'm not sure it's anything we've done, or especially that I've done, to deserve it," he said.

"You would have to ask the public, and maybe it's a reflection of the way we're perceived in the French media. It's maybe a question for some of you guys."

Fan reaction on yesterday's 181.5km stage from Millau was more muted a day after Froome had an unidentified liquid thrown on him on the climb to Mende.

Belfast Telegraph

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