Team Sky: Geraint Thomas targets best finish in 2016 Tour de France

By Steve JamesBBC Wales Sport
Geraint Thomas with Chris Froome
Geraint Thomas played a key role in Chris Froome's Tour de France win

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas has targeted a best ever finish as well as supporting Chris Froome at the 2016 Tour de France.

The Welshman was praised for the support he gave team leader Froome when he won his second Le Tour in 2015.

Thomas, 29, finished a career-best 15th overall but had been fourth until the 19th stage, where his efforts finally took their toll.

"Last year I was there purely to help Froomey," Thomas told BBC Wales Sport.

"I wasn't thinking about my own GC [general classification position] at all, and whatever needed to be done I would just do it straight away with no question.

"This year I'll certainly be able to think, right I can't do too much too early, I'll need to save it and think of myself as well really.

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"Obviously that depends on the guys behind me doing their job too, but me being better at the end will be better for Chris too, so it works all round."

Thomas and fellow Welshman Luke Rowe are part of Team Sky's line-up for Australia's Tour Down Under, which starts on 19 January.

Cardiff-born Thomas says the six-stage race based around Adelaide is a warm-up for bigger ambitions to come in 2016, which will include the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics.

He cut short his 2015 season by a few weeks and had a slightly longer off-season than in previous years following his wedding to long-term girlfriend Sara in October.

"My last race was the Vuelta [Tour of Spain] in mid-September. I certainly had a nice break but I'm really itching and raring to go, get a number back on my jersey and get racing," Thomas added.

"I'm pretty relaxed about it. I haven't got too many expectations at the moment. I've got a big March and April block of racing where I want to go well, and then obviously in July for the Tour.

"Being a bit more relaxed into it as well is nice. I can just really race hard and enjoy it, there's not too much pressure to perform."

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