Thomas’ hopes of winning a second Tour de France effectively ended in Stage 3 when he crashed and dislocated his shoulder. He lost time almost daily and rode in Richard Carapaz’s services for most of the race, while Geoghegan Hart lost time in the first week and, like Thomas, rode as a mountain servant for a while. much of the race.Simon Yates headed to the Tour in hopes of winning stages, but an accident took him out in week two. Team fourth member Adam Yates traveled to Tokyo last week with his brother and trained on the mountainous course which should be suitable for the selected riders.
The Yates brothers were joined in Tokyo by James Knox, who has been confirmed as the team’s reserve driver for the men’s road race. Geoghegan Hart and Thomas will compete in the individual time trial after the road race.
“Absolutely. This is the feedback I got from Simon, Tao and Geraint. They all want to take something more than what they have on the Tour, ”said Brammeier. Cyclismenews when asked if his runners would be encouraged to bounce back from their laps.
“They made a lot of sacrifices for this racing block with the Tour and then Tokyo. It’s almost like the same block of time. They will want to take something home after this block.
The Tour de France’s high accident rate – especially week one – has left Brammeier nervous, but with two days remaining before the race reaches Paris, his initial selection will likely be healthy and race-ready on road in a week.
“I haven’t watched it every minute, but every time you see a crash you wince a little bit and just hope it’s not one of your guys on the bridge. It hasn’t been great with three of our four guys crashing, but I think all of our guys are still in one piece.
Knox, who will travel to Vuelta a España after the Olympics, is unlikely to compete in Tokyo. It would take an additional illness or injury for the squad selection to change, but Brammeier was extremely impressed with the climber’s attitude to the situation.
“Obviously, the team was selected, so it will take an injury or an illness for something to change. We can change up to 72 hours before but except for disaster we will stay as is. It’s good to have it there as a backup. It is also good for motivation. It was not difficult to persuade him to come. Without blowing my own trumpet, it is a testament to what we have done, ”he added.
“If I look back over the three years since I started, it’s great to think that we have someone of James’ ability. He’s under contract this year, he’s leaving for the Vuelta, and for him to raise his hand for that, without any questions, and go all-in, that’s a big problem for me and for the team. Before the race even starts, we are already in a winning position, I think. “
Brammeier also took the positives from a disappointing Tour situation and believes Thomas and Geoghegan Hart will potentially arrive in Tokyo much fresher than if they had been true overall contenders on the Tour.
“Psychologically it’s a blow to the guys, but we all discussed and avoided all eventualities as to how we would get out of the Tour and return. They are in a good position mentally and then physically, this is definitely an advantage because there is therefore less stress. Thomas has not been in the grupetto his whole life so far, so there are advantages and being able to pass out on certain days will be a huge advantage.