Geraint Thomas staying with Team Sky after signing new long-term contract
Last Updated: 09/09/18 6:24pm
Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has signed a new three-year contract with Team Sky.
The Welshman, who secured the biggest victory of his road-racing career over three exciting weeks in July, has been with the team since its inception in 2009.
Since then, Thomas has won key week-long races including Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine, and he secured his first Tour de France stage win in 2017.
But he eclipsed all his previous victories in July, when taking the yellow jersey on stage 11 and holding it all the way to the finish line in Paris.
Thomas became the third British rider to win the Tour for Team Sky, following in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins and four-time winner Chris Froome.
He had been due to become a free agent at the end of the season and had been a reported target for the new team being created by a merger between CCC Sprandi Polkowice and BMC Racing.
Thomas told Sky Sports News: "You've got to play the game, play with Dave [Brailsford] a bit and get the best deal out of him.
"I've been super happy with the team from the start and it has really worked for me. I've known Dave since I was 17 so it does feel like a family.
"When other good teams show interest you have to at least hear what they have got to say, out of respect. But I am happy here and another three years is great. It's certainly working and long may it continue."
Brailsford added: "To have ridden like he has ridden and to have the reputation for being a hard-worker and great team player, it's obvious other teams would try to get him to ride for them.
"If you look at any great team, you have three or four individuals who are the backbone of the team, and Geraint is one of them. You need those characters in the group and that's why we are delighted he is going to stay with us."
On the battle for Tour leadership between the new champion and four-time winner Chris Froome, Brailsford added: "We'll reflect on this year first, get to December and see what the guys want to do next year.
"It's a good position to be in, but they guys are mature and potentially it gives one of them a better chance to win if they ride together."