Half and half, splitskies, going Dutch in France at Le Tour.
That’s the Team Sky game plan for the 2019 Tour de France with four time winner Chris Froome and last years’ champion Geraint Thomas both sharing leadership.
The level-headed Thomas presented it as no big deal. “It’ll be like this year  in a way. Obviously, this year Froomey was ahead of me in the pecking order, I guess, but we didn’t ride any differently. So now I’ve proven I can do it [win the Tour], it makes no difference really, if we still do the same thing and ride the same way and hopefully one of us can still win.”
We’d say that Thomas is remarkably clam and even keeled in his expectation that he’ll get equal support and billing at Team Sky in July. He certainly didn’t in last year’s Tour — detailed by Thomas himself in his book The Tour According To G.
“No difference really” would then mean that in this year’s edition he will again be told the team might leave him behind if he has a mechanical issue on the stage 2 team time trial around Bruxelles. And some hot evening after a hard, stressful day in the saddle the team will insist that only Froome gets to use one of the portable air conditioners.
“No difference really” also means that the team will allow Froome to attack at any time on any stage even if Thomas — now a proven Tour winner — is wearing the maillot jaune.
“No difference really” will once again mean that what team boss David Brailford promised Thomas in the off-season doesnt’ quote mean the same thing in July. Get it in writing this time, G!!!! Verbal assurances ain’t worth a stale Clif Bar.
If Thomas really believes there will be no difference then boy is he in for a rough and frustrating ride. Froome was off his game and less than 100% after winning the Giro d’Italia but isn’t doing the Italian grand tour this year. He’s also running out of time — and maybe a team sponsor — in his quest to join the exclusive club of five time Tour winners and put the finishing touches on his legacy and legend. And he certainly won’t be burdened by the salbutamol story that dragged his reputation threw the mud for nine months.
In the 2018 Tour Froome eventually stepped aside, resigned to the unexpected fact that Thomas wasn’t going to fade and was in fact the strongest man in the race. That’s not likely to happen this year with so much on the line for Froome.
No difference really? If Thomas hopes to win the 2019 Tour de France he better pray things are a lot different this time around.