With his current deal at Team Sky set to end after the 2018 season, Geraint Thomas says he’s open to listening to offers from other teams if they can provide him with more opportunities to lead at Grand Tours.
Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, Welshman Thomas indicated he is unlikely to line-up with Chris Froome in the first leg of his Grand Tour double attempt at the Giro d’Italia, and hopes to ride the Tour de France and potentially lead the Sky squad in Spain at the Vuelta a España.
Having crashed out in his first leadership opportunity in the Giro in 2017, Thomas faces a huge amount of competition for the top roles at Sky, with the likes of Wout Poels and Michal Kwiatkowski also eyeing chances at glory around Froome’s schedule.
For that reason, the 31-year-old says he’s open to listening to other teams who can offer him more concrete chances at leading a team in 2019.
“This year my programme is based on what Froomey’s doing,” Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.
“I’m certainly going to listen to some teams.
“Trek-Segafredo have shown an interest and there are some other teams as well. I certainly want to sit down and listen to what they’ve got to say.
“I’m not getting any younger. I don’t feel old, but I’m 31 now and I probably only have three or four more years at the very top, so I want to make the most of those.
“I’m not saying I want to leave or I’m going to but I certainly want to sit down and see what everyone has got to say.”
Thomas crashed in an incident with a police motorbike en route to the Blockhaus summit finish of this year’s Giro where he lead the Sky team with Mikel Landa.
Hoping that the bad luck with injuries from 2017 is behind him, Thomas says he’s aiming to be ready if needed as Froome begins his attempt at fifth Tour de France win in July. Froome completed a Grand Tour double in 2017 with the Tour and Vuelta, but is aiming to become the first man to win the Giro/Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998.
“Last year was unfinished business but with Froomey going there [the Giro] he’s obviously going to be the main guy, so I don’t want to go there and just… I’ve ridden a lot of Grand Tours in support roles now, so I’m just looking to get those bigger opportunities myself,” Thomas said.
“His whole preparation is totally different to normal and you just never know how he will be. He might be on his knees at the end and we [Team Sky] might need that second back-up guy to be there [at the Tour] and be good. So that’s a nice goal to have.
“Obviously Froomey will still be the leader going into it but it might be more of a chance for me to have more of a go myself.
“The Vuelta after that could be a potential race for me to go into in the full team leader role.”