Ahead of the Tour de France our GC trio sat down to speak to the world’s press. Here’s what Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates and Dani Martinez had to say on Wednesday in Copenhagen:
On his shape:
“I’ve been feeling good. Suisse showed that I’m in decent shape. We’ve got a super strong team and the main thing is that we ride well together, we’re aggressive together, and ride off each other well. It’s what we’ve been doing well all year so we want to continue that.
“Myself personally, hopefully I can be there in the crunch moments and affect the race positively for us.”
On the first week:
“The first week suits me more than some other GC guys but so much can go right and wrong in the Tour as we all know. Before we get to the Alps you’ll know roughly where everyone is but I think there’ll be some big days there and we’ll know for sure where we all stand after that.
“We’ve got the riders to ride well in the first week. Hopefully that puts us in the best place and limits the risk of unfortunate things happening. But as we all know with the cobbles, so much can go right or wrong. It’s pure luck. Hopefully we can avoid the bad luck and we can be aggressive as well and take on the first week.
“We’re in the mindset of just going into the race, taking opportunities as much as we can and enjoying the racing as I have been the whole year.”
Role and expectations:
“I’ve won the race and come second the following year. I’m a lot closer to the end of my career now than I am the start. I’ve got a lot of experience and I want to enjoy these races now. Since November these two boys, Dani and Adam, have been the leaders in the team and it’s still that way. Obviously I’m going well and I want to be there and in the mix and take an opportunity if it comes but I’m just pretty chilled. I’ll take it as it comes and try to enjoy it. It’s hard to say that when you’re bashing elbows and swearing at each other at 60km/h on a flat road with wind but I’ll try to enjoy that! I’m pretty relaxed about it all and I’ll take it as it comes.”
Team’s approach compared to previous years:
“The main difference is we don’t have the favourite for the race. We’ve had Brad, Froome, myself and Egan, we’ve always been one of the big favourites going into the start. Now as we all know Roglic, Pogacar, they’re the MPVs of the last couple of years. So we can’t just ride and set a tempo all day, go man vs man, if we do it’s going to be hard to beat them. We’ve got a strong team here, we’ve got numbers, and hopefully we can use them at the right moments. That’s a big change.
“The vibe in the team is as good as ever. Ever since I did the Tour with the team in 2010 it’s been a good group and it’s the same now. The core of that team has stayed the same through the years. We’ve got a good atmosphere and we’re looking to get stuck in and enjoy the race together.”
On his COVID recovery:
“I’m much better now obviously. I had maybe three or four days quite bad to be honest. I was speaking with some other guys who’ve had it recently and you have some guys who get a little tingle in their throat, but I had a proper fever and chills.
“It’s not ideal. I also missed the crucial stages in Suisse as we were waiting for the weekend to have a real test, and then I missed that was well. But luckily for me I actually get quite fit quickly so I didn’t lose too much, but here we are. We’ll find out in the TT if I’m good or not.”
“I’ve done pretty well in TTs already. At the end of the day, for guys my size, less than 60 kilos, it’s not easy for us to go well in a TT. That’s just how it is.
“I work a lot. I do two or three sessions a week every week on the TT bike. There’s not much more I can do. It’s just about putting my head down and making sure the power is there. I’ll give it a shot on Friday and whatever will be will be.”
On riding at the front:
“I think if it was a different race it would be a big advantage. You could ride at the front with the whole team and stay out of trouble. But we’re at the Tour, it’s the first week and it’s every man for himself and every team for themselves.
“We’ll just try and get through as safely as possible, hopefully have some luck on our side and take it from there.”
On battles with Pogacar:
“Me and Pog have had some good battles at UAE Tour, especially on Jebel Hafeet. It’s always a good test climb.
“I just hope to be at my best. I’ve not had the best of luck with COVID. I missed out on a few key sessions. It is what it is
“I just hope it’s not effecting me too much and we can have some good battles here at the Tour.”
“After Suisse I trained well and my condition now is good.
“My feeling is good. We’ll see how it is on the road. It’s a long race and we’ll go stage by stage and see. This first week is tough, with the crosswinds and cobblestones. I hope in the climbs I can normally go well.
“I feel good and I’m happy in this team. In G we have any experienced rider here. He won the Tour and he’s come second. He knows a lot about this race and anything can happen.”