Geraint Thomas eager for Tour de France finale with Luke Rowe
Geraint Thomas says it will be a great moment on Sunday when he crosses the 2015 Tour de France finish line alongside Welsh compatriot Luke Rowe.
The two long-time friends have done their part to help Team Sky leader Chris Froome all but secure the title.
Thomas, 29, and Rowe, 25, raced for the Maindy Flyers Cycling Club in Cardiff.
"It's great to see him here. We grew up together down Maindy and it's kind of surreal [on Sunday] riding into Paris with him," Thomas said.
"Luke's certainly a talent and he's clever with it as well.
"He never went too deep any day, when his job was done he sat up and took it easy.
"Because that's what it's all about - looking after yourself day after day, it's about the three weeks not just a couple of big days."
Even with his domestique duties helping Froome reclaim the title he first won in 2013, Thomas had been in contention for a podium place himself entering the final week.
But a crash on Monday's stage into Gap, where he was bumped off the road by Warren Barguil, cost Thomas time and then his efforts finally caught up with him on Friday as he slipped from fourth place to 15th.
But Thomas has played a key role in helping keep Froome in the yellow jersey.
The 30-year-old was put under intense pressure by Colombian climbing ace Nairo Quintana on stages 19 and 20, but finished Saturday with a decisive 72-second lead that makes Sunday's finale in Paris a formality.
"The last two days he [Froome] was probably feeling it," Thomas said.
"He didn't try to empty the tank on Friday, he tried to just lose as little time without going too deep because he knew how tough Alpe d'Huez was.
"I'm sure he would have liked to have won [stage 20]. Maybe he wasn't quite as strong as he hoped, but for sure he was definitely strong enough."