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happy in his own world – Rouleur

geraint thomas, tour down under

It perhaps reflects the times that someone as experienced – and still competitive – as Geraint Thomas is fielding questions about retirement at the beginning of a season set to include a title tilt at the Giro d’Italia

The laidback Welshman is sporting a few grey hairs but otherwise appears the same, motivated, hard-working, and funny, despite the changes happening all around him – within his Ineos Grenadiers team, the WorldTour peloton and conversation. 

Thomas’s star hasn’t waned but once upon a time it maybe would have shined brighter. His career bucket list, lined with green ticks – from Olympic gold on the track, to victories in major week-long stage races and finishing on every step of the podium at the Tour de France – would be seen as advantageous. 

However, when 21- and 22-year-olds started winning Grand Tours and world championships – Thomas is set to face at least one of those, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal – Quick-Step), at the Giro this year – experience started to be perceived as age and age as an impediment. 

Read more: ‘I’ve got a new appreciation of hurt’ – Meet Luke Plapp, Ineos Grenadiers’ Aussie champion on a voyage of discovery

Maybe that is why the 36-year-old, who partly due to lingering illness skipped Volta ao Algarve this week in favour of a longer stint training in Los Angeles, has been comparatively overlooked in recent years. 

Few pundits picked that he would finish third at the Tour de France last season behind Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), despite his credentials and triumph at the Covid-19-ravaged Tour de Suisse in the lead-up. 

“I didn’t really see it as a big deal as it’s been made out almost,” Thomas told Rouleur of his result at last year’s Tour. 

“I felt this is what I’ve been doing the last few years. Obviously ‘21 was a shitshow and ‘20 crashed out, so I didn’t get to show, but I feel like I was going the same or if not better on those occasions. So, for me, it was where I’ve been at for the last few years, but it was super nice to turn that fortune around, have a good solid race, not have any big mishaps, and show everyone what I’m still capable of.” 

That campaign came off a 2021 season in which Thomas and recently retired team-mate Richie Porte virtually took it in turns winning cycling’s traditional stage races. 

Thomas kicked off his 2023 season early at the Tour Down Under (Getty Images)

Thomas was third at the Volta a…

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