There have been many great rivalries in the Tour de France down the years. From Greg LeMond vs Laurent Fignon to Lance Armstrong vs the literal rules of sport to Virenque vs Wiggins and Wiggins vs Froome and now… Chris Froome vs Geraint Thomas?
To the uninitiated, Chris Froome is the four time Tour de France winner and talisman of Team Sky. Geraint Thomas meanwhile is the maybe co-leader, maybe super-domestique of the team. He earns more money at Team Sky than several big name team leaders earn on other teams riding in the Tour, and after stunning back-to-back stage wins up La Rosiere and Alpe d’Huez, he’s currently wearing the maillot jaune of the 2018 Tour de France.
What with Geraint claiming that he’s “still riding for Froomey” after his spectacular win on stage 12, it remains to be seen whether the Thomas vs Froome rivalry is actually a rivalry at all of course, but if previous experience of watching the Tour de France, and Team Sky in particular, is anything to go by, it’s certainly heading down that route.
"Chris Froome would really put his money where his mouth is"
But can Geraint Thomas really beat Chris Froome? And more to the point, would Geraint Thomas be allowed to beat Chris Froome?
So, without any further ado, here are the most important questions in road cycling's newest (possible) feud, answered.
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would win in an arm wrestle?
Stuart: “I’ve gone with Chris Froome. Just because I think he has a couple of extra centimetres on those arms. Long levers.”
Charlie: “Okay. I’m going to go for Geraint Thomas. Chris Froome just seems kind of weedy. His arms look like they could snap if you applied any pressure. So I think Thomas has that for me.”
S: “It’s like a stern weediness though isn’t it? Like poles almost. Like they're made of steel. Pole arms.”
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would pitch a tent quicker?
C: “I’m backing the Welshman, yeah. I don’t think Chris Froome has ever been anywhere near a tent to be honest with you.
S: “That is fair. Though I do feel it’s one of those ones where if you gave him enough advanced notice he would go through the YouTube tutorials, watch the lot, and would be competitive enough to sneak it in the end.”
C: “Yeah or maybe get a team of tent-pitchers to put most of the tent up and then just put the finishing touches on it himself.”
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would take you on a better first date?
S: “So the obvious answer to this is Geraint Thomas, because he just seems like a much chattier, more affable person, but my theory is that - you’ve seen all these pictures Chris Froome has been uploading with his baby and everything? - I reckon behind the scenes when he’s not cycling he’s a bit of a romantic. I think he’d be a bit of a cocky guy but I think he would go all out. I think he’d pull out all the stops because he’d want it to be the best first date ever. He’s a competitive guy. He’d want to win the date.”
C: “Yeah, and also he’s won four Tour de Frances so he’s probably loaded. Not that that should be the decider, that money wins, but he’d take you somewhere nice. Geraint Thomas might take you somewhere nice too. He might wine you and dine you but Chris Froome would really put his money where his mouth is.”
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would win in a staring contest?
S: “For me this has just got to be Froome because imagine just staring at Chris Froome for any period of time. It would be unnerving. It would be very challenging.”
C: “Yeah I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen him blink. Though he does have those tinted lenses on his glasses so you often don’t even see his eyes.”
S: “I’m not entirely even sure that he has eyelids.”
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would you rather go for a pint with?
C: “Yeah, I think Thomas.”
S: “I think he would have more to talk about that wasn’t just cycling.”
C: “Yeah and with Froome it probably wouldn’t even be about cycling it would be about dieting and VO2 and all that. I don’t care Froome. Talk about anything else.”
Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would you rather organise your stag do?
C: “Oh yeah it’s got to be Geraint Thomas.”
S: “Where do you think you’d end up?”
C: “You’d either end up out in Cardiff having a few drinks or he’d lead you out into some kind of SAS adventure.”
S: “Out of interest what do you think Chris Froome would set up if he was pushed to do so? Just a long climb?”
C: “He would take you on a long climb and only he would enjoy it.”
S: “He’d probably drop you half way up.”
And finally, Chris Froome vs. Geraint Thomas. Who would you rather win the Tour de France, and who do you think will win the Tour de France?
C: “I would quite like Geraint Thomas, if it was out of those two, to win the Tour de France, just because he’s always been up there, and I think it’s time he had his chance. He’s already shown this year that he can stay up there with the big boys and also beat them but I think that Chris Froome will win. I think unfortunately, a little like what happens in Formula One, team politics will come to the fore and Team Sky will tell Geraint Thomas that he has to let Chris Froome win. A fifth Tour de France title on the line.”
S: “I agree with all of that.”
C: “Considering how bad the Sky PR team are - they’ve had such bad PR all year because of the whole salbutamol thing - the sensible thing to do in that way would be to let Geraint Thomas win it but I just don’t think they will. They’re a bit too Darth Vader to do that.”
S: “Never been a big one for riding for friends, Team Sky. It’s decided.”
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