Team Sky pair Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas in the Tour de France
Geraint Thomas has earned the praise of Team Sky colleague Bradley Wiggins for his performances in this year's Tour de France, which ended on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Welshman was fifth in the prologue and was second on stage three across the cobbles, ending the gruelling race in 67th place overall.
Thomas also wore the white jersey for best young rider and was in the day's break on the first Pyrenean stage.
"He's fulfilling the talent he's always had," Wiggins told The Back Page.
"Every year he's showing a bit more of that. This year at the Tour de France he's moved on again from the World Cup last year on the track where he shone.
"In the British cycling system he's always been one of the young talented riders that people spoke about for the future... 'G' is one of those riders who'll probably do anything he puts his mind to."
Wiggins himself finished 24th, a disappointment after last year's fourth place, while the only Team Sky rider to finish above him and Thomas was Thomas Lovkvist in 17th.
Alberto Contador sealed his third Tour title in four years, with Briton Mark Cavendish winning the final stage in Paris for the second successive year.
I definitely didn't suffer as much as I did in 2007
Thomas has improved each year since he turned his focus from the track - which brought him an Olympic team pursuit gold medal - to the road.
He declared himself happy with his performance but believes there is more to come in future - with winning one of the shorter, flatter stages a target to work towards.
"I started really well with the prologue; I was fifth there in the rain and a few guys like Lance [Armstrong] had a bit of dry weather - he was a bit lucky there or I'd have had him otherwise," Thomas said.
"Then on the cobble day - stage three - we went over a load of old roads, paved sections, it's a big race in the spring called Paris-Roubaix where we go over the same roads and it's a massive race.
"So it was a real big important stage and to be up there in the front group with Fabian Cancellara, who's a bit of a legend in the sport, the world champions Cadel Evans and then Thor Hushovd - who's won loads of stages on the Tour - was unbelievable.
"Obviously we hit the mountains, which is a different kettle of fish going up there, but I definitely didn't suffer as much as I did in 2007, which is definitely a bonus.
"I've been recovering really well and I still feel like I could get up tomorrow and race quite comfortably.
"A 50km time trial is quite long for me but it's something I'm starting to look at, the prologue I was fifth in that but that was only 8km."
Stage 20 results:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC Columbia) 2h 42m 20s
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita/Garmin) same time
3. Julian Dean (NZ/Garmin) same time
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel/Omega) same time
5. Oscar Freire (Spain/Rabobank) same time
1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 91hrs 58mins 48secs
2. Andy Schleck (Luxembourg/Saxo Bank) +39"
3. Denis Menchov (Rus/Rabobank) +2'01"
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spain/Euskaltel) +3'40"
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel/Omega Pharma-Lotto) +6'54""
15. Nicolas Roche (Ire/ AG2R) +16'59"
17. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe/ Sky) +20'46"
23. Lance Armstrong (US / Radioshack) +39'20"
24. Bradley Wiggins (GB / Sky) +39'24"
26. Cadel Evans (Aus/ BMC) +50'27"
67. Geraint Thomas (GB / Sky) +2h 05'00"
151. Stephen Cummings (GB / Sky) +3h 45'47"
154. Mark Cavendish (GB / HTC-Columbia) +3h 51'23"
158. David Millar (GB / Garmin) +3h 56'46"
163. Jeremy Hunt (GB / Cervelo) +4h 02'21"
164. Daniel Lloyd (GB / Cervelo) +4h 02'59"