Tour of Flanders: Geraint Thomas the favourite - Shane Sutton

Geraint Thomas
Thomas is a double Olympic track champion in the men's team pursuit

Geraint Thomas's billing as favourite to win Sunday's Tour of Flanders is fully justified, says British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.

The Team Sky rider, 28, became the first Briton to win the E3 Harelbeke and was third in Gent-Wevelgem.

"He's the out-and-out favourite," said Sutton. "It's justified given the results of the last few weeks.

"This guy is like what David Beckham was in football. He is massive. At this moment, he is the man."

The Tour of Flanders in Belgium is one of cycling's 'cobbled classics'.

Welshman Thomas's victory in the formidable E3 Harelbeke in Belgium was the biggest road win of his career.

'You can smell the beer on the fans' breath'
"The Belgians love their cycling and with the narrow roads they are right on top of you. You can smell the burgers and frites and the beer on the breath of the fans as you go up the climbs. They have a unique aura about them."
Read more of Geraint Thomas's thoughts on the Tour of Flanders and the cobbled classics

He finished third at the Gent-Wevelgem sprint classic on Sunday despite suffering a crash.

Sutton, appointed technical director after Dave Brailsford quit as performance director, told BBC Wales Sport: "It's not just the results.

"You've got to look at the way he's achieved the results.

"You look at the faces and you look at what people have got left in the tank and this guy has got more in the tank than anybody at this moment.

"He's producing more power and doing more damage than anybody in the way he's shutting down gaps.

"It's down to the team to make sure they put him in the right place."

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