Geraint Thomas trusts Chris Froome but says Tour champion has been affected by doping claim
Last Updated: 19/12/17 11:26am
Geraint Thomas trusts Chris Froome but says the four-time Tour de France champion's mood has clearly been affected by the furore surrounding him.
Froome's future is uncertain after a urine test collected during the Vuelta a Espana in September showed an adverse result for the level of salbutamol - a drug used to treat asthma - in his system.
That has left Froome fighting to save his reputation and Thomas, speaking in an exclusive interview with cyclingnews, said the team leader had undoubtedly been upset by the result and the incessant clamour for comment which followed.
Thomas said: "For a start, I trust him. I don't think that he would do anything to try and cheat. It's just a difficult situation.
"I don't know the facts that they're going to use to argue their case but it's hard and being who he is I can't see them going lightly on him. I back him 100 per cent. I don't think he's a cheat.
"I'm sad for him, and his reputation but also for the team as well. That's the main thing. It's another thing against the team but I do trust that he wouldn't have gone out of his way to cheat.
"It's on his mind, and we've talked, not really about the details but I've said that I've backed him. You can see that it's affected him but it's going to, something like that."
Thomas is preparing for his 2018 season in on the Balearic island and admits Froome's situation is going to affect his plans, although he is keen to have the Tour de France as his main target.
Froome, should he be available, is set to target the Giro d'Italia as he looks to complete a grand tour hat-trick and he could look to Thomas as one of his chief lieutenants.
"I sat down with Tim [Kerrison] and Dave the other day and said that I wanted to target the Tour. If Froome rides the Giro, then that preparation is always different. I want to be in the best shape possible and make the most of the situation as it comes but I want to have a go myself
"Given the choice out of the Giro and the Tour I'd like to do the Tour as the second back up really. A lot can happen and we saw this year that [Mikel] Landa committed to Froome but he still ended up fourth."