Geraint Thomass Team Sky have twice the budget of second-placed Tom Dumoulins Sunweb and the French daily Libration said fans and public position the Tour with disappointed anger
Geraint Thomas has been hailed as” Le Prince de Galles” and “Le cyclist next door” by French papers after winning his first Tour de France. But as the 32 -year-old arrived back in Britain following a heavy night of celebrations, there were growing calls for Team Sky’s dominance to be curbed.
Thomas admitted that his victory had” all come together like a dream” and said he had received bellows from Arsene Wenger and Elton John, as well as a video message from Thierry Henry. An open-top bus procession is also planned in Wales, although Thomas’s next appointment will be a criterium in Belgium on Tuesday evening.
Team Sky’s latest success is down less well in France, with the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, calling for an end to power meters to attain the race less predictable. Meanwhile some French papers floated the idea of a salary cap for squads- pointing out that Sky has an estimated PS30m-plus budget- while Sunweb, the squad of second-placed Tom Dumoulin, is reckoned to be about half that, with Movistar’s budget about PS1 2m a year.
The 2014 win, Vincenzo Nibali, has also floated the idea of a cap, a topic enthusiastically taken up by the French daily Liberation, which advised there had been a combination of” disillusioned anger” from fans and” icy apathy” from the public during this year’s Tour. As it pointed out, in 2012 the UCI athletes’ committee had agreed that a more equal distribution of wealth was needed in professional cycling, but nothing had come of it.
” Six years on, the distribution of the booty has gotten worse ,” the paper wrote.” The gap between the means of teams has exploded- while the shareholders of ASO refuse to give up a penny .”