Geraint Thomas has ruled himself out of racing at the opening Classics of the season, citing a lack of season preparation as he also shifts his mindset away from solely focussing on winning a Grand Tour in 2022.
The Welshman delayed his preseason preparations after having shoulder surgery in the winter, with the Volta ao Algarve last week his first race of the season. He finished an underwhelming 62nd, and afterwards he told Het Laatste Nieuws that he has made the difficult, but sensible, decision not to race on the cobbles.
“A decision with a heavy heart," Thomas explained, "but due to an injury this winter, my condition isn't good enough for the cobbled Classics. I only want to ride there if I'm good enough."
While recovering from shoulder surgery, Thomas missed five weeks of winter training, which is why he won't compete at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad or Strade Bianche. Instead, he will next race at Tirreno-Adriatico, before turning his attention to Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April.
For the 35-year-old, though, he is simply looking to enjoy the process of racing this year as he removes any internal pressure. In the past, Thomas explains how he would prepare his entire season around the sole focus of challenging for Grand Tour titles, but now, it seems his approach has changed.
“Hopefully I’ll just get some consistency," Thomas told VeloNews. "That’s the key for me now.
“For the last five or six years a Grand Tour has been my main focus but this year, not so much. It’s still an important part of the year but I’m not thinking Tour, Tour, Tour. I’m thinking about going to races and trying to take what I can from it. I want to be more aggressive and race for stages, maybe help the team on GC or go for GC myself, but I don’t class myself as GC, GC, GC now.
“It’s more about how I approach races, and how I ride in them really. I’ll still train as hard as ever and be as successful as I can in those races but it’s not the be-all and end-all.”
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