Last year Geraint Thomas admitted to enjoying his off-season a little too much, although there are no doubts he needed the physical and mental rest after a 2018 that saw him win his first Tour de France title.
He still rode to a second place at the 2019 Tour behind team-mate Egan Bernal, however, but fast forward a year and it seems the Welshman is back and fully focused for the 2020 season, when Ineos will be the strongest they’ve been in years – and that’s saying something.
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Instead of attending the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, having previously won the 2018 edition, Thomas opted to instead go on a 300km ride around the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Thomas didn’t post his data to Strava but did upload a picture of his Garmin, showing he rode a total of 309.4km in eight hours and 35 minutes. His average speed was also 36km/h.
Looking at the Strava profiles of Thomas’ Ineos team-mates, a number of them joined the 33-year-old on the Sunday morning ride, but according to their data none of them accompanied Thomas on the entire 300km distance.
Filippo Ganna rode 167km in five and a half hours, while Michał Kwiatkowski and new recruit Richard Carapaz cycled that distance between them, the Polish rider going 67km and the Ecuadorian 93km.
Another new Ineos signing, Brit Ethan Hayter, came the closest of the riders who posted their Strava data to getting close to Thomas’ distance. The 21-year-old rode 181km in five hours and 55 minutes, in what will be the first of many hefty rides as he begins his professional career with Ineos.
With Ineos boasting four Grand Tour winners amongst their squad for 2020, namely Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, Carapaz and Thomas, leadership duties are set to be hotly contested next year.
Thomas has said he could target the Giro d’Italia next year, having ridden the Italian Grand Tour on three previous occasions, saying it would “get him out of bed in the morning”.
He has also said that decisions on who will ride which races next year, with both the Tour and Giro routes now released, will be made at the December training camp, which appears to be currently taking place.