Geraint Thomas says he would be happy for Egan Bernal if he won the Tour de France but says the most important thing is Team Ineos stay united heading into the final week (Bernal 5/1 to win the Tour).

The Tour resumes on Tuesday after a rest day and the race for the yellow jersey could not be more open with six riders all in with a realistic chance of topping the podium in Paris on Sunday.

Julian Alaphilippe leads but Thibaut Pinot, who is the 6/4 favourite with Betfred, is now seen as the man to beat following two dominant rides before the rest day, while Thomas and Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal are in the hunt.

Much has been made of the possibility of Thomas and Bernal scrapping it out over the remaining days of the Tour, but the defending champion says they must stay united or risk neither of them winning.

“The main thing is we don’t race against each other and throw away the race,” Thomas said on the eve of stage 16.

When asked if he would be happy for Bernal to win the Tour, he added: “It is the team winning so I guess so, but obviously I want to be the one winning.

“Egan is a natural climber, born to go uphill. He’s smaller, he’s lighter and he’s got a bit more punch. I can jump around, but I prefer to ride to my tempo and that’s how I’ve been the last couple of days.”

Steven Kruijswick and Emanuel Buchmann cannot be ruled out of taking yellow either, but on Tuesday the main aim will be to stay out of trouble and let the sprinters do their thing before heading into the Alps.

That is where the Tour will be decided and an exciting week is on the cards.

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