VAL THORENS – After his troubled preparation for the race, Geraint Thomas is still poised to finish the Tour de France as runner-up – and that persuades the defending champion to believe he can win the title again despite fierce internal competition at Team Ineos.
Thomas's team mate Egan Bernal will become the first Colombian to win the Tour barring a crash on Sunday and at 22, the climbing phenomenon does not just have an outstanding future ahead but also looks a safer bet than Thomas for 2020.
Having missed out after his horror crash last month, four-time champion Chris Froome is also expected back next year, providing a puzzle for Ineos manager Dave Brailsford, who must choose who to put in pole position in Nice next July.
"He (Bernal) is probably going to dominate for more than a few years, he's got a great team around him," said Thomas, who started the race as Team Ineos co-leader with Bernal but had to accept the Colombian's superiority in the mountains.
Thomas crashed during the Tour de Suisse in June and that hampered his preparations and he also hit he deck three times during this year's race.