Race leader Geraint Thomas is focused on ensuring a Team Sky rider stands atop the podium on the Champs-Élysées as he prepares for the final week of the Tour de France.
Speaking on the second rest day before the final block of racing, Thomas holds a 1’39” advantage over second placed teammate Chris Froome, but insists the success of the team is the priority.
He said: “Coming here, it was a dream to be in with a shot of getting a podium and that’s still on the cards which is good, but I’m just trying to keep the same mindset as I have from the start.
“[Sport Director] Nico Portal has the call at the end of the day as he’s the boss, but he asks us [during the race] and he obviously has his opinion and he decides at the end of the day.
“I think it’s been working really well so far and hopefully it can continue. Winning is still not what I’m thinking about, I’m still taking it day by day.”
“It’s all about winning this race and as long as one of us wins – that’s the main thing.”
Froome and Thomas have raced on the same team for over a decade now since being teammates at Barloworld before joining Team Sky and when asked about their relationship, the Welshman revealed what he had learned from riding with the six-time Grand Tour winner.
He added: “We’re good mates and we’ve ridden in the same team together for a few years now, 10 or maybe 11 years, and we’ve generally lived in the same areas too so we’re always training together and we just get on.
“I’ve learned a lot about his mental strength, the ‘never say die’ attitude and how you deal with everything that’s thrown at you in this race – that’s what’s most impressive.”
Following the rest day, the race continues in the Pyrenees with a trio of tough mountainous stages which will be pivotal in deciding the eventual winner of the Tour.
One which stands out above the others is stage 17’s short 65km test which will feature a Moto GP-style grid start with GC contenders all starting at the head of the race, which Thomas expects will cause an exciting spectacle.
He said: “I think it’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be unique for sure. I think we will expect a lot of attacks from the start and a big, big day.
“It’s going to be on the hardest climbs, the final climb finishes at altitude so you can’t get too carried away at the start that’s for sure.
“I’m sure it will be exciting to watch.”