Geraint Thomas says abuse aimed at Team Sky helped them grow closer during Tour de France

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Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says the abuse they suffered from some fans during the race strengthened the bond within the team

Geraint Thomas says some of the abuse the Team Sky riders suffered during the Tour de France strengthened their resolve as a group.

The vitriol aimed at the team began before the race commenced when four-time champion Chris Froome and his team-mates, including Thomas, were met by a chorus of boos and whistles at the pre-race presentation.

Froome was a particular target for the hostile reception received during the Tour, with the Briton subjected to being spat at, along with having a liquid thrown at him, and Thomas believes the Team Sky riders forged a strong bond.

“We have just got a really good bond,” said Thomas, during a homecoming event at Sky Studios.

“We really gelled as a team over the three weeks, especially with some of the abuse we were getting out on the road – that really brought us together as a team.

“It is something we will always remember.”

Thomas, who became the third Briton to win cycling’s most prestigious race, said his achievement was still sinking in and described his emotions as being in “dreamland”.

The 32-year-old claimed a sixth victory for Team Sky in the Tour de France and made sporting history in becoming the first Welshman to win the race, but he does not want to stop at winning the event once.

“Most definitely – I have got the bug for it now. I really enjoyed my time in the yellow jersey and those stage wins [mean] I want more now,” he said.

“It is exciting times ahead.”

1:07 Geraint Thomas reveals Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry were among the high-profile sporting figures to congratulate him on winning the Tour de France

Thomas admitted the messages of congratulations he has received during the event and since his triumph in Paris have been slightly overwhelming and revealed two notable sporting figures had been in touch.

“I spoke to [Arsene Wenger] on the phone this morning which was bonkers,” Thomas said.

“I had a video message from Thierry Henry. He said he had watched it and said I had never looked like I was going to crack.”

He added: “People like George North, Will Carling, Dan Carter, Jamie Carragher [getting in contact] is crazy. These are people I watched growing up and suddenly they are sending their congratulations and saying they enjoyed watching me.”

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