WHILE all eyes - and the occasional fist - have been on Chris Froome, a gallant Welshman is leading the way in this year’s Tour De France.

Geraint Thomas, who it must be said looks the part in the yellow jersey, has been making all the right noises about continuing to ride with Froome’s success foremost in his mind, despite currently enjoying a 1min 39 sec lead over his teammate, the four-time Tour winner.

Thomas has the unfussy demeanour of a man who loves what he does, celebrates the ups and philosophically absorbs the downs in order to continue on his merry way.

But make no mistake - it takes steely resolve to pedal one’s way up those mountains.

Thomas earned his yellow jersey the hard way on stage 11, and the following day was first to the top of the daunting Alpe D’Huez.

Not many win successive mountain stages, which makes Thomas’ achievement all the more impressive to us mere mortals.

Froome of course, cleared of wrongdoing over an adverse salbutamol level test on the eve of the Tour, has become a hate figure to the gimlet-eyed fanatics who mingle with the true cycling fans on the Tour route.

His journey up Alpe D’Huez was accompanied by boos and, more sinister, a punch from a fan who was subsequently arrested.

Thomas meanwhile, purely because he is a member of the now reviled Team Sky, has also been subject to fans’ wrath, with boos commonplace.

His call for “calm and a bit of decency” after fans’ tempers flared on Alpe D’Huez was well-timed and well made, and will hopefully be heeded before someone gets badly hurt.

Meanwhile, there is a race to win, but who will win it is still open to question. Two weeks in, no-one is any the wiser.

Whether Froome can find the power in his legs to maintain a challenge after winning the Giro d’Italia remains to be seen, but if he can’t, wouldn’t it be great if he can provide all the support he can for Thomas to prevail.

At 32, the Welshman won’t have a better chance than this, and if he is given his head by his team’s management, this might yet turn out to be one of Wales’ greatest sporting stories.