Sky's Geraint Thomas praises 'clean' Tour de France

Geraint Thomas says the Tour de France is winning its battle against the drug cheats.

Cycling's biggest road race has been dogged by drug scandals but Britain's Thomas insisted the sport is getting cleaner.

"It's definitely progessing the right way, for sure," the Team Sky rider told BBC sports news correspondent Matt Slater.

"A lot of guys have realised now you can't get away with cheating."

There has only been one reported positive test on this year's race.

Russian national champion and Olympic bronze medallist Alexandre Kolobnev, a member of the Katusha team, was excluded after he was found to have used a banned masking agent.

The race was eventually won by Australian Cadel Evans, ahead of Luxembourg's Andy Schleck and brother Frank.

Thomas, one of the rising star's of the sport, finished 31st overall in his third Tour de France and was a very creditable seventh in the best young rider classification.

The Welshman, who also secured three top-six finishes, says he was encouraged by his performances during this year's race.

"I feel totally wasted. It's tough for sure. It's the biggest bike race in the world and is a recipe for pain and suffering," said the Cardiff-born rider, who recently signed a new three-year contract with Team Sky.

"As for the team, we had a bit of bad luck with Brad [Wiggins] and the crashes but we were able to bounce back and win two stages.

"Morale and confidence was very good in the team and I had a very enjoyable three weeks.

"I thought I could have a good first week but the mountains were something I had never done before.

"But it was a very enjoyable and very encouraging. Being in the thick of the action all the way through was great."

Thomas, who wore the Tour's white jersey for the best young rider from stages one to seven, also praised Mark Cavendish, who became the first British winner of the green jersey for the race's best sprinter.

"He is not a bad bike rider, is he? It is great to see him doing so well. He is the fastest guy in the world," said Thomas.

That view of Cavendish was supported by his HTC team-mate and leadout man Mark Renshaw.

The Australian, 28, said: "Cavendish is the best sprinter of his generation, if not all-time.

"We've got an exceptionally strong team built around Mark Cavendish, and it works really well. It's well drilled and we've had great success.

"We put that down to every rider committing to each other, and that's why the train runs so well."