Geraint Thomas has hinted that he may not target the Tour de France in 2023 in what could be his final year after a 17-season professional career.
The 36-year-old Welshman won the Tour de France in 2018, was second in the same race 2019 and third this year behind Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
He proved he was still competitive in cycling’s biggest race despite two years of nasty crashes and doubts about his competitiveness as a young generation swept into the sport.
Thomas’ contract with Ineos Grenadiers ends in 2023. The British team has signed a swath of young riders and is building for the future. Thomas is in some ways the elder statesman and is the only rider to remain with the squad since it began in 2010 with backing from Sky.
After his third place at the 2022 Tour de France, Thomas could rightly demand a protected leadership role for the 2023 race but appears to have slightly different personal and professional ambitions for what could be his farewell season.
“We have to sit down and work out what I want to do, it could be my last year as well. I want to make the most of it,” Thomas told Cyclingnews and Velonews recently.
“I don’t even know if I will do the Tour to be honest, maybe the Giro. It’s all up in the air, really. I wouldn’t mind doing something different. This year’s been quite refreshing, doing a few new races, Coppi & Bartali, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Flèche Wallonne and Itzulia Basque Country. They’re all races I’ve never done or only done once and that was refreshing.”
Thomas crashed out of the 2020 Giro d’Italia and crashed hard early in the 2021 Tour de France, suffering until Paris in the hope of holding his form for the Tokyo Olympics. But he failed to finish the road race and was only 12th in the time trial.
He was back to his best in 2022, winning the Tour de Suisse on the way to his Tour de France podium.
“Last was pretty horrific, so it was nice to enjoy the racing and get some results too. I am proud of my ride at the Tour, that was good and to win Suisse as well, that was really nice, I’d been close before. It’s been a really good year.”
Thomas also quietly enjoyed proving his critics wrong, both inside Ineos Grenadiers and elsewhere.
“When I won the Tour, it was nice to come back the next year to show it was not a fluke. And it was nice to come back this year as well, when people thought I was done. Now I feel like I have nothing else…
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