Tour de France 2019: No complacency from Team INEOS after 'great start', says Geraint Thomas

Second in the GC and with a Team INEOS colleague close behind, Geraint Thomas feels well placed at the Tour de France.

Geraint Thomas insists the squad will remain focused as he looks to reel in Julian Alaphilippe.   -  Reuters

Geraint Thomas feels Team INEOS has enjoyed a "great start" to the Tour de France but insists the squad will remain focused as he looks to reel in Julian Alaphilippe.

Alaphilippe leads the General Classification race by one minute and 12 seconds, yet Thomas is his nearest challenger and INEOS teammate Egan Bernal is third, a further four seconds back.

Defending champion Thomas believes INEOS is well placed but acknowledges there is a lot of work left to do, particularly with Alaphilippe still boasting a healthy advantage.

"We feel we're in a strong position," he said. "A combination of everything coming together has helped us get to this point at the first rest day. We've made a great start, but we're fully aware that there's still plenty of racing left.

"To have gained time on our GC contenders is massive and a really good bonus, but now the really tough stages start. It's been a great 10 days. It would be better if we were a couple of seconds behind Alaphilippe, but we're pleased with how we’ve fared so far."

Thomas added: "We've got huge Grand Tour experience in this team, so we won't allow ourselves to become complacent. We'll just focus on each stage and give ourselves the best possible chance of winning when we get to Paris. I’m not feeling any extra pressure this year.

"I'm enjoying the race so far, though; it's been a good opening block of racing for the team, and the support we've had has made it even more enjoyable. We've got a lot of winning experience on this team, the guys know what it takes to get over the winning line at the Tour. That experience is massively important in a race like this.

"We are always prepared for this race, we have one goal. Other teams go for stage wins, but our only goal is to try to win the Tour."

And Thomas is hopeful he and Bernal can pile the pressure on Alaphilippe, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider having never seriously challenged for Grand Tour glory before.

"We'll know a lot more about Alaphilippe after the second rest day, but he’s rode a great race so far," the Welshman said. "We'll see how he goes — it's an unknown for him as well, so it'll be an interesting second week."

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