Froome prepared to help Thomas win gold in Rio

Tue Mar 1, 2016 2:05am EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Chris Froome says he would work for British team mate Geraint Thomas at this year's Olympic Games if his own gold medal ambitions falter in Rio.

Froome is targeting a third Tour de France before setting his sights on an unprecedented two Olympic golds on the twisty streets of Rio de Janeiro in the road race and time trial -- a formidable undertaking even for a rider of his all-round ability.

Welshman Thomas, 29, has started the season in style by retaining the Tour of the Algarve title and will be among the leading contenders for the road race in Rio where they will ride in British colors rather than those of Team Sky.

Thomas usually works tirelessly as one of Froome's most trusted support riders, as he did so impressively at last year's Tour de France, but the roles could be reversed in August.

"If G is flying and I'm struggling, then definitely (I'd support him), absolutely," Froome, 30, said at Team Sky's training camp in Mallorca this year.

"I'd be happy playing a role if it meant we could have an Olympic champion."

Froome, who won a bronze medal in the London 2012 time trial under the flag of his native Kenya, said his close bond with Thomas would help when the pressure builds up during an Olympic road race and personal ambition rises to the surface.

"The key to all of this is communication. Especially with G. We've been riding together now for coming up to 10 years," he said. "At the Olympics it will be a very honest, open discussion between us out on the road.   Continued...

Team Sky rider Chris Froome of Britain, the race overall leader's yellow jersey, reacts at the finish line of the 110.5-km (68.6 miles) 20th stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Modane to Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps mountains, France, in this file photo dated July 25, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini