The Ineos Grenadiers rider is deep into his preparation for the leadership at the Giro d’Italia, which starts next weekend, but also has a chance at a great result in the Worlds TT in Imola on Friday (September 25).
After appearing off the pace in the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this year, Thomas appears to be back to his best after his second place finish in Tirreno-Adriatico, which he secured thanks to a strong showing in the final stage TT against some of the best in the world.
Speaking via video call on the eve of the elite men’s time trial, the Welshman said: “The course is fine but I would have liked a more undulating course ideally. But from the last day of Tirreno, I was in the mix there.
“I am just hoping to be there or thereabouts tomorrow. Obviously I am going to give it everything I’ve got and try to get the best result possible.”
On the plan-flat 10km race against the clock in Tirreno, Thomas jumped a place in the overall standings as he powered his way to fourth place on the stage, just two seconds behind reigning world TT champion (and team-mate) Rohan Dennis.
The Imola course is expected to be rapid with almost no climbing over the 31.7km course, but Thomas said he’d prefer a little more undulation.
He said: “I haven’t ridden this one yet, but from what people have told me it’s pretty much pan-flat. If it had a few more lumps it would be nicer, but at the end of the day, a course is a course, just go out there and put out some watts.”
Thomas had been scheduled to race the elite TT in Yorkshire in 2019, but he opted to pull out at the last minute after a demanding edition of the Tour de France.
He was replaced by John Archibald at short notice, who took 14th place.
But with the redesigned 2020 season, Thomas has the chance to ride the Worlds in great form.
He said: “Once the season was rescheduled, it was always in the back of my mind, first time I’ll be able to go to the Worlds with a bit of condition, whether that’s coming straight out of the Tour or the way it is now. It’s a shame I won’t be able to do the road race, but just really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Of course another motivation is preparation for the Giro, where Thomas will be leading Ineos after he wasn’t taken to the Tour de France.
On paper the Giro route suits Thomas, with three time trials to split up the GC.
Thomas said: “I’ve never done the Worlds TT for a start, I’m always on my knees by the end of the season after a typical year. But obviously this is anything but.
“I’m feeling pretty good and I would have wanted to do the TT anyway, but obviously having three TTs at the Giro gives an extra importance to it.”