Ineos Grenadiers: 'We hope Geraint Thomas does the Tour de France another couple of times'

The Welshman and his team have opened the door to his Tour return

Geraint Thomas at the Vuelta a España 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas looks set for a return to the Tour de France in 2024, after his Ineos Grenadiers team supported his intention to ride the race once again.

On the eve of the current Vuelta a España, the 37-year-old told the media that though he was in the twilight of his career, "when it comes to the Tour de France [next year], I think I just want to get these three weeks done and see what happens."

He added: "I would love to go back to the Tour, but as a leader and targeting it, we will see."

Speaking to Cycling Weekly at the start of the Vuelta, the team's deputy principal Rod Ellingworth said: "G, as I have said all along, is our team captain. He is the guy who leads the team from a rider's perspective, and not just with what he says but the way in which he is around the team, the way he trains, the way he does everything. He is a great leader. So we hope that he is going to do another couple of Tours de France."

Thomas won the Tour in 2018, and has also finished on the second and third step on the podium.

After finishing behind Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar in 2022, Thomas indicated that his Tour chapter was over, and repeated several times that he no longer has anything to prove in the race.

But after nearly winning the Giro d'Italia in May, and counting himself as one of the favourites for the Vuelta, Thomas is buoyed and set to sign a two-year contract extension with Ineos. 

With the team undergoing a major overhaul, it is not known in what capacity Thomas would return to the Tour, but Ellingworth suggested that it could be in a team captain's role helping the younger riders such as Tom Pidcock and Thymen Arensman.

"Things change and he feels as good as ever, really," Ellingworth continued. "He is still performing pretty well and I think the key thing is he's enjoying his racing. The key to that then is the group that is around him.

"It's not just the same old group. We've recruited some young guys, he enjoys working with them, and I believe that G knows he had a good schooling and good lead into this sport, and I think he feels that he knows what to do, what to say to these kids, and he's happy to pass on his experience. 

"It's brilliant to see him doing it. He does it subtly because it's G, he doesn't shout and scream, but he sits on that bus and he will say things and lead, and he's got high expectations of people. He's brilliant.

"Age, at some point, catches up on you. It's inevitable, you can't fight that, but I do think that in your late-30s you are still competitive to a certain point, and it depends what the team wants from him. 

"The value that G brings around the team is exceptional, and if it's that alone that's fair enough for me, and I think he knows that and that's why he's performing. G puts enough pressure on himself, we don't need to put any pressure on him at all, as it is he who wants to perform."

 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.


Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.