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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 16:22 UK

Delhi Dreams: Geraint Thomas

By Steffan Garrero
More on Sport Wales, BBC TWO Wales, Fri, 13 August, 2100 BST

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Delhi Dreams: Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas is smiling as he leans over the handlebars of his Time Trial bike outside the Lewis Arms in Tongwynlais.

"It's funny how you can live somewhere for years and not really appreciate how lovely the countryside is until you move away."

Thomas comes from Birchgrove in Cardiff but a punishing training schedule means he splits his time between Manchester and Italy.

Today the 24-year-old is back on home soil and kitted out in his Wales shirt to film the latest in the series of Delhi Dreams for BBC Sport Wales.

Geraint Thomas made the best young rider's White Jersey his own in the first week of the Tour de France
Geraint Thomas made the best young rider's White Jersey his own in the first week of the Tour de France

"I love the feeling of representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games. You should have seen the number of Welsh flags out at the Tour [de France], every single stage they were there. It gave me such a boost."

The idea for the 'shoot' is to juxtapose a fully kitted-out Olympic gold medal winner with the reporter in his 'civvies' on the cheapest bike available.

The backdrop of the hills around Taff's Well and Gwaelod-y-garth has put Thomas into a reflective mood.

Thomas is back in Wales for the first time since his exploits at the Tour de France saw him pull on the White Jersey, for best-placed young rider, and rise to second place overall for most of the first week.

Riding with him alongside the River Taff, he draws lingering stares from joggers and fellow cyclists alike.

The Union Jack on his helmet, his Team Sky shorts and the bike worth thousands of pounds may have something to do with it.

But Thomas has moved into the Welsh sporting elite and his face is now as likely as his kit to grab attention.

On the roads he is impossible to keep up with - he is a speed freak.

Fellow Tour de France rider Mark Cavendish once told me: "You know that moment when you're going really fast and you think 'if anything goes wrong now I'm ******'? I don't have that when I'm sprinting, I can switch it off. G doesn't have it ever."

Team Sky pair Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas
Out of the Commonwealth riders only Bradley Wiggins and Dave Millar went faster than me... and Brad has pulled out

There is a longing in Thomas' eyes when he talks about the velocity he can coax out of a modern race bike: "When I was going flat-out on the TT bike during the prologue I was getting up to about 75km-an-hour. There's no buzz like it. I love the feeling."

It is the time trial he will focus on in Delhi after finishing fifth in the Prologue of the Tour and 10th in the time trial on the penultimate day.

"Out of the Commonwealth riders only Bradley Wiggins and Dave Millar went faster than me on either of those two days and Brad has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games. Obviously there are good Canadians and Australians to think about."

Will he come back from the Games with a medal?

"Mate, I wouldn't be extending my season and going straight to India from the World Championships in Melbourne if I didn't think I could do better than a bronze…"

With that Thomas jumps on the bike and speeds off into the distance.

*See more on Sport Wales on BBC TWO Wales, Friday 13 August, 2100-2130 BST



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see also
Sport Wales: The TV Programme
15 Mar 11 |  Wales
Commonwealth Team Wales 2010
15 Oct 10 |  Wales
Thomas pulls out of Delhi Games
24 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Thomas showing talent - Wiggins
26 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Thomas 'can win in grand tours'
11 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Millar & Thomas shine in prologue
03 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Thomas' Tour de France in photos
15 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Delhi Dreams: Selby & Evans
06 Aug 10 |  Boxing
Country profile: India
31 Mar 11 |  Country profiles
Classic Sport Wales
26 Jul 10 |  Wales
Follow Sport Wales' tweets
04 Mar 10 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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