‘The Giro d’Italia would get me out of bed in the morning’: Geraint Thomas targets Grand Tours, but looks to Classics in coming years

The 2018 Tour de France winner said ‘nobody really cares’ when you finish second

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Geraint Thomas says the Giro d’Italia would “get him out of bed in the morning,” as he plans to continue targeting Grand Tours.

But the winner of the 2018 Tour de France said he hopes to turn his focus back to the Classics in the coming years, having had one-day success early in his career.

Thomas, who rode the men’s elite World Championship road race in support of Ben Swift, added that he will wait until the Grand Tour routes are announced before deciding his race schedule.

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Speaking to gathered press ahead of the Worlds, the 33-year-old said: “Even if I did the Giro, it would still excite me and get me out of bed in the morning.

“I’m going to wait at least until I see the courses, the routes for the Giro and the Tour, and then go from there.

“I’m definitely not going to make a call until at least the December training camp.”

Team Ineos rider Thomas will find himself surrounded by fellow Grand Tour winners next season, with Chris Froome returning from injury, Egan Bernal racing after winning the 2019 Tour de France, and Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz joining from Movistar.

Thomas added: “You’d think Egan would ride [the Tour] again obviously, being the defending champ. Froomey, it’s his big goal, he wants to win five.

“I think two leaders does work and has worked for us the last two years, as long as we keep that same philosophy.

“I’ll look at both the routes and see what motivates me and what the other guys are thinking, then just go from there.”

But Thomas says he may soon take on a spring Classics campaign, having been a promising one-day racer early in his career.

The Welshman won E3 Harelbeke in 2015, finished third in Ghent-Wevelgem that year, and has top-10 finishes in both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

“There comes a point where you need to decide to focus on one thing,” Thomas said, “and the Tour and Grand Tours have been the main focus for the last three or four years.

“Another year or two and then for sure [I’ll focus on one day races]. I’m looking forward to going back to Flanders and Roubaix and those races, and maybe the Worlds.”

Ahead of the Worlds, Thomas admitted he was suffering from fatigue after the physically and emotionally draining year that followed his Tour de France win.

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Looking ahead to next season, he said: “I think it's just so different already after this Tour. The difference between winning and second is massive. When you win your phone's constantly going and you get pulled left and right. When you're second nobody really cares, you're just back to normal, you go about your business, and you just do what you do.

“I'm definitely all or nothing and when I have a big goal. It’s all geared towards that and it's so intense and so committed to that, once that's done you need that time to relax. Some guys are constantly at 90 per cent all year and they perform all year. But to perform and win at the races I want to do, I've got to be 100 per cent. And so to get 100, I need to be down at 50 for other parts of the year. So that's just the way it's always been with me, that mentality from the track, always the big goals with the Worlds or the Olympic cycle.

“It's hard to get out of that routine unless you have different goals.”

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Alex Ballinger

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.