Geraint Thomas raises £360k for the NHS while riding 1,200km on Zwift

The Tour de France winner put in a marathon effort from his garage in Wales

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas raised a staggering £360,000 for the NHS as he rode for 36 hours on Zwift over three days.

The Team Ineos rider set himself the remarkable endurance challenge in support of the health service during the coronavirus crisis, with all money donated going NHS Charities Together to support health workers across the country.

On Wednesday (April 15), 2018 Tour de France winner Thomas set off on the first of three 12-hour shifts on the indoor trainer from his garage in Wales, as fans joined in the ride on virtual training platform Zwift.

Thomas rode 1,220km over the course of the three days and at the time of writing he had raised £361,400 for charity.

In an Instagram post after the challenge, he said: “Who knew I could go on such an adventure in my garage.

“Thanks to every single one of you who donated, rode with me on Zwift or sent some support – and of course to every key worker out there doing an amazing job.”

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A photo posted by on

You can still donate to Thomas’s fundraising here. (opens in new tab)

During the ride, Thomas broadcast live on Facebook and answered questions from fans, while he also managed to fit in a few conversations with fellow pro riders like Luke Rowe and his former team-mate Wout Poels.

The coronavirus lockdown has spawned some mammoth indoor rides, with the challenges only getting more extreme.

Astana’s Laurens De Vreese kicked things off early with an 11-hour 368km ride, but Willi Smit (Burgos-BH) raised the bar and rode 1,000km in a single ultra-distance ride in April.

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Smit, a former Katusha-Alpecin rider who now races for Spanish ProTeam Burgos-BH, spent 37 hours in the saddle to complete the enormous challenge he set himself.

Even more impressive, the South African completed the ride at 2,000 metres above sea level at his home in Andorra and without the benefit of a fan to cool off, as he wasn’t able to purchase one during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.