Geraint Thomas in Carcassonnne: calm before the stage
There’s a big week ahead of Geraint Thomas and the peloton is tackling the climbs of the Pyrenees… but the race leader wouldn’t hint at the tactics that will be employed by Team Sky in stage 16.
– Photo (above): Twitter – @InCycle
There was an interruption at the start of the 16th stage but exact details of events surrounding the protest by farmers near Carcassonne are yet to be confirmed. It has been reported that riders were affected by pepper spray used to disperse the protesters and an image of Geraint Thomas that appeared on Twitter (one that was subsequently deleted from the InCycle account) seems to suggest that he was one of the riders who was stung.
“It seems the police didn’t take into account the direction of the wind and the spray has caught some of the riders in the eye,” said one observer who was nearby.
RIDE Media has made contact with Team Sky to find out more but, with the stage on, the logical thing is to focus on the task at hand before making any statements about the reports of pepper spray affecting, amongst others, both Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.
Before the stage, there was no booing to be heard from the crowd in Carcassonne and Thomas was happy to answer a few questions after sign on. That said, he wouldn’t be drawn in to explaining what tactics may be employed in stage 16.
“As a team we’re in a great position,” he told Sebastien Piquet, who was asking questions on the start line on behalf of ASO. “We have a decent advantage but it’s still a long week and we’re expecting a lot of attacks.”
Piquet nudged for further explanation: “Maybe an attack from Chris Froome?”
“Ah, I don’t know,” laughed ‘G’ in response, adding: “If I knew, I wouldn’t say anyway.”
Then came a second query from a Colombian journalist: “Maybe an attack from Geraint Thomas?”
“Same,” said G, “I wouldn’t say if I was thinking of doing it.
“But I think it’s just going to be aggressive racing and we’ve got to remember it’s a big day tomorrow.”
– By Rob Arnold