Geraint Thomas keen to extend cycling career ahead of new Ineos contract talks

By Sports Desk May 04, 2023

Former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has no thoughts of putting his bike away as he prepares to start his 18th Grand Tour this weekend.

The 36-year-old headlines the Ineos Grenadiers squad alongside 2020 winner Tao Geoghegan Hart for the 106th Giro d’Italia which will get under way in Fossacesia on Saturday.

The 2018 Tour winner described his last set of contract negotiations with Ineos in 2021 as “hard” and, with his existing two-year deal up again at the end of this season, he faces another round of talks if he wants to keep riding. However, staying in the peloton is very much his intention.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Geraint Thomas (@geraintthomas86)

 

“I’d still like to continue,” Thomas said. “I’m still really enjoying riding my bike. Especially this year when things have been a bit stop-start, you realise how much you still enjoy it and being around the lads.

“Being around the younger lads keeps you young as well and maybe keeps you immature but I still enjoy a coffee ride and I still enjoy a six-hour ride with loads of efforts and I still enjoy racing as well.

“At the moment I’m just focusing on this race and then hopefully we can sort something after this.”

Last season Thomas finished third in the Tour de France after delivering victory in the Tour de Suisse.

But his 2023 season has been interrupted by illness and on Thursday Thomas spoke more about riding to help Geoghegan Hart than he did about pursuing his own ambitions in a race which he has targeted before only to suffer crashes in both 2017 and 2020.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by INEOS Grenadiers (@ineosgrenadiers)

 

When he re-signed in 2021, Thomas said he wanted to keep winning for himself, but another contract may require him to accept more of a support role.

Asked how many Grand Tours Thomas might have left in him, Ineos deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth said it was up to the Welshman, but was clear about what that might mean.

“There’s not many that have kept up the same level of intent in their cycling as Geraint has,” Ellingworth said. “He’s 36 coming on 37 so who knows. At the end of the day, age does catch up with you and you can’t avoid that. How many (Grand Tours) he has left in him is totally up to him…

“There’s riding in a Grand Tour and competing in a Grand Tour and it is very different. The thing with Geraint is, if you go to a bike race and you want somebody to help you and be your wingman, bloody hell, I’d sign him up every day. I think he’s got a few left in him if he wants it.”

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tao Geoghegan Hart (@taogeogheganhart)

 

Geoghegan Hart is back at the race where he enjoyed his breakout result with victory in the pandemic-hit 2020 edition.

Since then, the 28-year-old Londoner has endured illness and injury setbacks, but delivered a timely confident boost with two stage wins and overall victory at the Tour of the Alps in April, his first general classification win since the Giro.

Although Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic are the clear favourites going into the race, Geoghegan Hart is one to watch.

“I feel like from the back end of last year he’s started to piece it together, get a bit of rhythm and he’s got his mojo back,” Ellingworth said. “He’s really shown now he can be consistent.

“What’s changed for him is he’s gone through a journey. He’s had a lot more experience now, good and bad. Sometimes you’ve got to get your arse kicked to move on and he’s had his arse kicked and he himself has moved on.”

Related items

  • Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs Paul extends rich form with double gold; Browne, Campbell also among T&T's medals at PanAm Track Cycling Champs

    Trinidad and Tobago’s ace cyclist Nicholas Paul continued his rich early season form as he wrapped up another double gold medal-winning outing at the just-concluded Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles, California.

    Paul’s medals were won in his customary events, the men's Keirin and Sprint, and followed his fairly successful outing at the UCI Championships in Hong Kong where he recovered from a two-cycle collision in the Keirin to win the Sprint.

    The 23-year-old again expressed gratitude for the continued support as he represents the twin island republic with much gusto.

    “It is always an honour to represent my country and the Pan American region. Thank you to everyone for all the love and continued support. The Journey continues and the next stop will be the Nations Cup in Milton, Canada. So, I just want to continue putting in the hard work and let it show in my performances,” Paul said.

    In the Keirin, Paul topped Colombia’s Kevin Quintero, while another Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Kwesi Browne copped bronze.

    However, it took a photo-finish to separate Paul and another Colombian Cristian Ortega for the Sprint crown. Paul bettered his South American rival in the first ride before edging ahead in the second ride on the line by millimeters to retain his title.

    Meanwhile, Akil Campbell was also among the medals, as he won a bronze medal in the men's scratch race.

    In other results at the meet, Alexi Ramirez finished eighth in the women's elimination race and in the women's scratch race, while Makaira Wallace and Phoebe Sandy placed 13th and 17th in the women's sprint qualification, respectively.

  • On this day in 2018: Scotland’s Katie Archibald wins Commonwealth Games gold On this day in 2018: Scotland’s Katie Archibald wins Commonwealth Games gold

    Scotland’s Katie Archibald added Commonwealth champion to her long list of accolades on this day in 2018.

    Archibald, an Olympic, world and European champion in various disciplines, took gold in the women’s individual pursuit in Brisbane, having broken the Games record in a blistering qualifying session.

    Her only previous Commonwealth medal was the bronze she won on home soil in the points race in Glasgow four years earlier.

    Archibald, then aged 24, said before racing began gold was the only colour she wanted and swiftly delivered, covering the 3,000m distance in three minutes 26.088 seconds to beat Australian Rebecca Wiasak.

    She had set the record at 3:24.119 in a qualifying session which saw three riders go under the previous record set by England’s Joanna Rowsell Shand in Glasgow.

    “It means a lot, especially in the individual pursuit because it’s not an Olympic event,” said Archibald. “2014 always stands out as a big year for Joanna Rowsell to kind of echo, because she had the title and the Games record.

    “You look at the success she carried from that point in her career. I’d be very proud.”

    Fired up by his sister’s performance, Archibald’s brother John then added another medal to Scotland’s tally with silver in the men’s 4,000m individual pursuit as England’s Charlie Tanfield clinched gold.

    “I watched her heat run and the pressure was on her,” said John Archibald.

    “The Commonwealth Games record went and they all went better than her personal best so she had her back against the wall but she pulled out and delivered on the day and that got me going.”

  • On this day in 2010: Sir Chris Hoy crowned world champion for 10th time On this day in 2010: Sir Chris Hoy crowned world champion for 10th time

    Sir Chris Hoy was crowned world champion for a 10th time on this day in 2010 as he triumphed in the Keirin at the Track Cycling World Championships in Copenhagen.

    A crash in the first heat threatened to wreck Hoy’s plans, but he managed to regroup to qualify for the final.

    Azizulhasni Awang pushed Olympic champion Hoy all the way before the British rider edged home to claim his second medal of the Championships.

    Hoy had already clinched bronze in the team sprint at the Ballerup Super Arena, but crashed out in qualifying for the Keirin.

    Josiah Ng Onn Lam had blocked Hoy, who went on to fall and take out another rider, which caused the race to stop.

    Ng was later disqualified and after Hoy progressed through to the final, the Scot had to bide his time before he gained the lead during the final lap-and-a-half to taste success in his first major global event since his triple Olympic success in 2008.

    “I certainly didn’t enjoy being bumped on my backside at the start of my first race – that was a bit out of order,” Hoy said.

    “It made me angry but I had to keep my emotions in check because I didn’t want the red mist to descend.

    “It’s even more special to be back here again where I won my first world title in 2002.

    “I would never have predicted then that I would be coming back here in eight years time, let alone to win a 10th title. I’m delighted.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.