Saturday, 4 February 2023

Cycling News

Will 2023 be th – Rouleur

An injured Geraint Thomas after crossing the finish line of the 9th stage of the 2017 Giro d'Italia

The Welshman has been unable to finish the last two times he has competed in the Giro, perhaps a change of luck (and some new sunglasses) will help things come together next year

Like meditating on a busy street, or a big meal and skinny jeans, or credit card bills and saving money, history tells us that Geraint Thomas and the Giro d’Italia simply just do not work well together. Every time the Welshman has taken to the grande partenza, ill fate has followed in the weeks that follow. It isn’t normally Thomas’s fault, but instead it can be blamed on the almost unfathomable amount of poor fortune that seems to plague the Ineos Grenadiers rider season after season.

Take the 2017 Giro d’Italia, for example, Thomas was given his first opportunity to have the leadership role in a Grand Tour. Everything was going well until one fateful moment on stage nine. In a sort of freak accident – like many of Thomas’s unfortunate crashes – a police race motorbike was stopped on the left-hand side of the road as the peloton was hurtling towards the finish with 14 kilometres to go. As riders swerved to avoid the stationary vehicle, Thomas was victim to a ripple effect in the peloton, causing him to hit the ground hard and at speed. Images emerged of the then-Team Sky rider with ripped, bloodied jersey and crushed hopes of a general classification victory.

He ended up finishing over six minutes down on that stage, waving goodbye to his lofty ambitions of a podium finish. But the next day, Thomas surprised many by putting in a sterling performance to finish second in stage ten’s individual time trial behind Tom Dumoulin. It was exciting times for both him and his British team, re-awakening hopes of what Thomas might be able to pull out of the bag during the remaining two weeks of racing. These pipe dreams of pink were crushed only two days later, however, when Thomas took to social media to announce that he would be abandoning the race before the start of stage 13, citing severe shoulder pain following his crash. Another chance gone, another winter of preparation wasted.

An injured Geraint Thomas after crossing the finish line of the 9th stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia (LUK BENIES/AFP via Getty Images)

As time went on, the relationship between Geraint and the Giro has only continued to sour. His attempt at the race in 2020 was perhaps the strangest and most surprising…

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