Scrolling through social media after last week’s finish of the Tour de France, you cannot help but feel that the real winner of the race was the man who came in second, Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas.
For Thomas, last year’s winner, the 2019 race was the opportunity, at the age of 33, to hold on to his title before the curtain starts to fall on his professional cycling career. Instead, he ensured that his teammate, Egan Bernal, a Colombian 11 years his junior, rode to victory.
For Team Ineos (the rebranded Team Sky), Thomas’s attitude echoed the manner in which Chris Froome, a four-time winner of the Tour, helped assure his own first place in the 2018 race. These demonstrations of teamwork and selflessness stand in stark contrast to the years in which Lance Armstrong ruled the Tour with a brutality that would have made Tony Soprano proud.
The demonstration of grace and magnanimity displayed by Thomas — or “G”, as he is known in cycling circles — is a breath of fresh air. He has lodged himself in the hearts of sport fans by helping Bernal win. Few will forget the picture of their embrace when it became clear the Colombian had claimed his mantle or how, in interviews, he extolled Bernal’s prospects.My thoughts exactly but expressed more eloquently by Penylan's own Michael Moritz.
Later in the same article, we learn that Thomas came 140th out of 141 entries in his very first Tour de France in 2007. From that debut to winning last year! Could we love him more?