After crashing out of both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this season, Geraint Thomas admitted he’s frustrated he still hasn’t been able to show what he is capable of achieving in a Grand Tour yet.
The 31-year-old Welshman shifted his focus to targeting cycling’s three-week races this year and was handed the co-leadership reins for Team Sky for the first time in his career in Italy.
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He changed his race programme subsequently — skipping the Classics during spring — and despite getting into what he called the “best shape I’ve ever been,” his race and return at the Tour a month later were both prematurely ended by crashes and injury.
“The team and Tim [Kerrison, Sky’s head of performance support] and Dave [Brailsford, team principle] have seen the shape I was in, the training efforts I was doing and they know how well I was going and my weight was good as well,” Thomas told Cycling Weekly about his form this season.
“I wanted to show everybody else as well — that’s the frustrating thing that I wasn’t able to do that. You never know what’s around the corner as well next year. I might get sick or injured or something and not get in that shape again.”
The Giro was Thomas’s 11th Grand Tour but the first one he’s ever had to abandon. He’s twice finished 15th in the Tour de France — in 2015 and 2016 — while in a support role for Chris Froome, however, he’s keen to see how far he can go himself in such a race with the full support of a team behind him.
He reiterated Grand Tours will remain his focus next year.
“All being well, I don’t see why I won’t be able to [get in that form] and be better again. It’s certainly gives me some good motivation for next year,” Thomas continued.
Thomas broke his collarbone in the crash at the Tour, and returned to the UK for an operation. He returned to his home in the south of France last week and was given the all clear to resume training with an eye on racing at the Tour of Britain and World Championships in September.
“With what happened at the Tour I just needed to switch off and be normal for a bit. I was back in Cardiff for a bit with my family, saw my mates,” he said.
“The main thing is to get back on the road and get training and feel good again really. I’m hoping to be at the Tour of Britain — that’s a good thing to motivate me.”