Tour de France - Thomas was in dark on summit prize
Thu, 14 Jul 18:54:00 2011
Geraint Thomas was blissfully unaware that he had missed out on the 5,000-euro prize up for grabs at the top of the Col du Tourmalet in the 12th stage of the Tour de France.
The Team Sky rider, part of a six-man breakaway, was on his own up front less than two kilometres from the Tourmalet, where the first rider to the summit is awarded the Prix Jacques Goddet.
But the Briton allowed Frenchman Jeremy Roy to come back and cross the line first.
"No wonder he (Roy) went for it. 5,000 euros - you can do a lot with that, buy a lot of beers with that," said Thomas who got some consolation when he was voted the day's most aggressive rider and a prize of 2,000 euros.
The Welshman eventually finished over five minutes behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez of Spain.
"There was a chance it could have stayed away today so we got out there and gave it a good bash," he said.
With team leader Bradley Wiggins out of the race following a crash last week, Thomas has carte blanche to attack and try to win a stage but his lead was not big enough at the top of the final climb.
"I didn't think it would be enough, but you've got to try," he said.
"When they caught us with 7km to go I thought it wasn't too bad, but it still took me about half-an-hour to get up the bloody thing."
Thomas, however, could be grateful he even crossed the finish line, having crashed early in the day.
"There was something on the road and I ended up crashing," he said.
"The second one was just stupid. I think I had a bit of mud on my tyres and couldn't slow down quickly enough. It looked a bit of a drop so I thought I better crash now before going off down there.
"I lost my head a bit after that. I was a bit frustrated."
Thomas reflects on lively stage