Geraint Thomas was one of Team Sky’s strongest performers in 2010 but the national road champion believes that too much emphasis from the media and the team was placed on success at the Tour de France.
Sky started the 2010 season with the Tour as one of their major goals. They went to the race with high hopes for overall with Bradley Wiggins, while Edvald Boasson Hagen was tipped as a candidate for the points jersey.
However, the team wilted in their debut and came away without a top-ten finish in GC or a stage win. One shining light was Thomas’ performance: he led the young riders’ competition for several days and finished second on the thrilling stage to Arenberg.
“At the Tour right from the start, it was all about Brad and Sky and that was how we were going to be judged. However, we showed that there are a lot of other races out there that we did well in,” Thomas told Cyclingnews.
“Obviously with the UK media the Tour is the Tour and that’s pretty much it. With Sky that was all we focused on, or the main thing, and I think we all got wrapped up in that and I think some of the other races could have been a bit better.”
As for races outside of the Tour de France, Thomas added: “I think the focus wasn’t on them. We just went to them and did them, so to speak. I think now a lot of the riders and the staff have been together for a year now and there’s so much more of a base to work from”
Last week senior directeur sportif, Sean Yates, admitted that their ambitions of winning the Tour with Wiggins in 2010 were "possibly unrealistic,” while Dave Brailsford added that the team had learnt some hard lessons in their first year on the road.
A get-together in Windsor gave the entire staff a chance to reflect on the season and put the wheels in motion for a strong 2011. It was also an opportunity for some of the team’s new members like Michael Rogers and Bobby Julich to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings.
“It went really well and it was great to meet the new guys. This is the start for next year,” Thomas added.
“It was a new team this year so it was always going to take a while for it to gel together. We concentrated on the main things and maybe a few things got neglected or forgotten about so I think it will be a lot better next year and the year after that. Well keep growing.”
As for the new recruits, Thomas said: “They’re coming into a strong team and one that has gelled. They’ll fit in really well and they’ve got bags of experience too. I think that’s another aspect we needed on and off the bike and it will be vital for us next season.”