British cyclist, Geraint Thomas, got his 2013 season off to a positive start last week after the 26-year-old climbed back from fifth to finish third overall in the Tour Down Under.
Thomas, cycling for Team Sky, was expected to challenge for a greater podium place than third after a positive start to the Tour, but realised his efforts to win overall were futile after dropping to fifth on day five.
Nevertheless, a spirited display on day six earned the Welshman a podium on his first outing of the year – a real confidence boost heading into the new season.
“The boys in the team were incredible again,” Thomas told the sports betting news. “It was a perfect day really and it’s been a pretty successful week. I thought I could come away with a stage win I’d have definitely been happy with that.”
A stage win – on day four of the six-day race – gave Thomas an early lead in the overall standings and, although he fell off the pace a day later, he will nevertheless take great pride from his exploits in Australia. So, indeed, will Team Sky after their first race of the new season ended in a podium.
The team, commanded by Olympic Team GB cycling chief, Dave Brailsford, are expected to push on this year after helping Bradley Wiggins claim the Tour de France in 2012.
Most betting news pundits believe that 2013 will be a huge year for British cycling and for competitors like Thomas to get a good foothold on the new season is a major boost for the team.
Team Sky will have teams in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España later this summer and have a packed schedule ahead of them this spring. Thomas will hope to be a part of those tours, and will be back on the saddle in Qatar and Belgium February hoping to further develop his career on the road.