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Geraint Thomas: "It has been an incredibly hard Tour de France"
"It has been an incredibly hard Tour de France. We had very tough moments within the team, with many guys in bad shape because of sicknesses, yet we were able to turn the race around for me to step on the podium. It’s special, kind of a relief, to stand up there, to experience all this, to be a part of it. The atmosphere in the team has been great, and that’s key because we can’t forget this is a team sport even if it’s only me standing on the podium. We believe that we can concur against these two riders in the future. We have bright talents in our team, and we can be competitive in the coming editions of the Tour. We came here with numbers and tried all we could. Wout van Aert is such an incredible rider. The whole Jumbo-Visma team has been amazing throughout the Tour de France, yet him in particular was spectacular on each and every stage. It’s a shame he races for a rival team!"
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Thomas ready to grab his chance at Tour de France
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Geraint Thomas 'easy' over Tour de France leadership for Ineos Grenadiers after Tour de Suisse win
Updated 20/06/2022 at 09:54 GMT
Will former champion Geraint Thomas contend at the Tour de France this summer? The Ineos Grenadiers rider looked in good form as he became the first British winner of the Tour de Suisse. He is expected to be part of the Ineos line-up at the Tour with Dani Martinez and Adam Yates, but has played down the prospect of leading the team over the three-week race.
‘I want to go there and race hard’ - Thomas looking ahead to Tour de France after Tour de Suisse win
Thomas to race Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2024 - 'A massive challenge'
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Geraint Thomas was Stronger in the Tour de France 2022 compared to his 2018 Victory
In the Tour de France 2022, Geraint Thomas displayed strong climbing performances throughout the three weeks, finishing third in the general classification behind Pogačar and Vingegaard. Standing on the podium in Paris was nothing new for the Welshman, who won Le Tour in 2018 and came second in 2019. But how does his 2022 Tour performance stack up against those better results on his palmares? In this article, we will compare Thomas’ 2018 and 2022 Tour de France performances as well as his career best w/kg efforts.
2018 Tour de France
The climbing level of the 2018 Tour was quite low compared to the current post-COVID era. Thomas won back to back mountain stages on La Rosiere and Alpe d’Huez, pushing below an estimated 5.80 ᵉw/kg on medium length mountains, which is even below the trendline of a Grand Tour Top 10 contender in 2022. Nowadays it is practically impossible to win a Grand Tour stage from a GC group with such performances unless there is a significant tactical stalemate followed by a sprint at the end. Thomas did his best pure w/kg performances on Col de Portet and Cote de la Croix Neuve – Mende but he was not the fastest on both climbs. On Portet he lost to Nairo Quintana 47 seconds and Dan Martin 19 seconds but on the short Cote de la Croix Neuve – Mende he lost only five seconds to Primož Roglič, who subsequently became the best rider in the world on such climbs.
Given his larger size compared to diminutive climbers like Quintana, Thomas has never been able to push the best w/kg up climbs if they are paced hard from the base or are very steep. The Alpe d’Huez and La Rosiere mountain top finishes were not paced full gas, with riders in the GC group attacking multiple times and then the group slowing once they were caught. Thomas was able to win the stages with his patented last km surge, which has continued to be a weapon for him to gain time or limit losses in the current era (see Volta a Catalunya 2021 Stages 3 and 4).
2022 Tour de France
Despite never being close to Pogačar or Vingegaard on any mountain stage or in the general classification, Thomas was in his best shape ever at the Tour de France 2022. Even without winning a stage he did great performances on Alpe d’Huez, Col du Granon (high altitude) and La Super Planche des Belles Filles, often in very hot conditions. Thomas lost almost three minutes on Hautacam to Vingegaard, despite doing 5.83 ᵉw/kg for almost 40 minutes (enough to win on Alpe d’Huez in 2018). Before Hautacam he did Spandelles at a hard pace (6.07 ᵉw/kg for 30:28min) with his sole attack of the race and later caught Vingegaard and Pogačar in the descent as the Dane was waiting for his teammates.
2018 vs 2022 Tour de France
When both races are compared, the 2022 Tour consistently has higher level final climb performances, with the racing in 2022 also typically being much more difficult prior to the final climb (Galibier and Spandelles were both launched by Pogacar). On the w/kg x time graph both Alpe d’Huez 2022 and Mende 2018 are practically similar, however in general Thomas’ climbing over 15 minutes duration was superior in 2022 compared to 2018.
Fortunately for the sake of comparison, both Alpe d’Huez and Cote de la Croix Neuve – Mende climbs were included in each of the 2018 and 2022 Le Tour editions.
In 2022 nine riders were faster on Alpe d’Huez than Thomas’ time in 2018, when he outsprinted Dumoulin, Froome and Bardet atop the legendary climb. Thomas himself beat his 2018 Alpe d’Huez time by 2 minutes and 3 seconds whilst Bardet also massively improved his time by 1:46min. It is unsurprising that fast times were set in 2022, with Jumbo-Visma pacing a large portion of the climb very hard with Benoot, Kuss and Kruijswijk.
In defense of the 2018 Alpe d’Huez performace, Thomas definitely did not set his fastest possible time (winning races and gaining time is the aim of GC contenders, not setting fast climbing times with other GC contenders in the draft). He saved a lot of energy drafting whilst others attacked and won the stage with a powerful 15-second sprint. The same thing can be said about the La Rosiere stage, where Thomas won thanks to an acceleration in the final kilometre.
Meanwhile in the 2022 edition, there was such a performance disparity both above and below Thomas that he just rode every climb like a time trial without responding to the attacks of Pogacar and Vingegaard and with other podium contenders dropping very early on each climb. By riding to his own threshold level Thomas most likely did the best possible w/kg performance he was capable of in 2022 on the Alpe.
Cote de la Croix Neuve – Mende
On the Cote de la Croix Neuve – Mende climb Thomas in 2022 lost 23 seconds to his 2018 time. Considering the steep gradient of the climb, in both cases he definitely did go full gas. However in 2022 the conditions were less conducive to a high w/kg performance, with an average stage temperature of 35 centigrade compared to 28 centigrade in 2018. The stage was also significantly more difficult before the final climb in 2022, with riders in the peloton spending 13,1 kj/kg/h for 4:41h in 2022 vs 11,5 for 4:47h in 2018.
With modern training and methods, Thomas shows that it is possible to be in career best shape even at age 36. Perhaps relative to his era 2018 Thomas was stronger than 2022 Thomas, but it is clear that right now the 2022 Tour version of Thomas is improved. There is the reality of the Sky Train 2018 mountain stages perhaps hiding the true w/kg that 2018 Thomas was capable of, but we consider this offset by how difficult the 2022 mountain stages were, where he still achieved higher w/kg than in 2018. These stages in 2022 were raced extremely aggressively, often in extreme temperatures, with committed attacks on penultimate climbs on the Col du Granon, Hautacam and Peyragudes stages. The Giro d’Italia typically requires a lower w/kg threshold to win compared to Le Tour or La Vuelta, so with the 70+ km of time trial in the Giro 2023 parcours, Thomas should start as a lock for the podium and perhaps even the victory depending on Remco Evenepoel’s attendance.
Pourriez-vous faire un article qui comparerait Froome, Conrador, Schleck avec Pogacar, Vingegaard ou Evenepoel ? Merci d avance. C est toujours un plaisir de lire vos articles
Mi intuición iba por ahí, Thomas ganó en 2018 sin mostrar todo su potencial en el tren Sky cuando era segunda espada de Froome por sí este desfallecía, a diferencia de 2022 donde el tren de Jumbo lo llevó a mostrar todo su real potencial. En un concepto propio y emulando la taquillera película Terminator 2, el T-800 de Ineos se mantuvo a la distancia del duelo de los T-1000. ¿Estarán preparando los británicos su prototipo para rivalizar con las nuevas máquinas en 2023 o necesitarán mas tiempo para emular ese “increíble” nivel? En este ciclismo moderno la lógica ya no funciona de igual forma, así que nada raro que veamos a un Hayter escalando con los mejores sin perder su sprint ni mermando sus números al reloj, hace un tiempo sonaría a broma, pero creo que con lo que hemos visto últimamente y en especial la presente temporada no se podría negar esa posibilidad. Grandioso tema Raúl.
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“modern methods” lol
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Excellent article – very interesting. I wonder how his performance in 2019 compares (when he came 2nd)? Certainly in the latter stages of that edition I thought he looked very strong. Had stage 19 not been cut short due to the crazy weather, the positions on the podium in Paris could have been different. One minor suggestion. On the 2018 vs 2022 chart, different colour dots for 2018/2022 might make it clearer. Keep up the good work!
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Tour de France: Lampaert in yellow as Thomas rallies after clothing error
- Belgian wins Copenhagen time trial ahead of Wout van Aert
- Thomas forgot to remove gilet before rain-soaked first stage
Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers threw caution to the wind in the Copenhagen rain as the 2022 Tour de France got under way with a treacherous opening individual time-trial stage in the Danish capital.
Thomas, who won on a similarly drenched course at the start of the 2018 Tour in Düsseldorf, “pulled the pin” on a nervy start to the stage, but it was not enough to lift him into the top 10, as the defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates) proved faster than all his rivals for final victory in Paris. Yves Lampaert of Belgium, riding for Quickstep-Alpha Vinyl, was seen as an unexpected stage winner despite his time-trialling pedigree, and took the first maillot jaune, as the controversy over the team’s omission of the sprinter Mark Cavendish finally subsided. “My mind is exploding,” a tearful Lampaert said after his win.
Thomas raced in a sleeveless gilet over his aerodynamic kit after forgetting to remove it after his warm-up. “That was the worst first half of a time trial that I have ever done,” the Welshman said. “Everyone’s telling you to take it easy, but the main thing when I won in Düsseldorf, is just flow. This felt so bitty, stop and start. When I heard the time gaps, 18 seconds down to Mathieu van der Poel, I thought: ‘Sod it, just race’ and then I went better.
“The legs were good anyway, but it’s a shame about that blinking gilet. Because I zipped it up all nice and snug, I forgot I had it on and nobody spotted it. I did think about taking it off but it would have been a bit dodgy.
“The main thing is the legs felt good, really good to be fair. When I put the power down I had plenty of it. Mentally it was one of the hardest time trials I’ve ever done.”
The stage was dominated by riders from the Jumbo-Visma with Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard all finishing in the top 10. Of the early starters, Van Aert set the fastest time but as the rain eased, later in the afternoon his time was surpassed by Lampaert.
Yet the die seems already cast with Pogacar finishing fastest of the major contenders for overall victory. The 23-year-old Slovenian, reserved in the earlier and more technical sections of the course, picked up pace towards the finish in a demonstration suggesting that he had maintained the flying form that recently secured victory in his native tour.
Both Thomas and his British teammate, Adam Yates, unsure of his form after a recent bout of Covid-19, will rightly point to the thousands of kilometres of racing still to come, but it is already clear that the Slovenian double Tour winner will, as expected, be the rider to beat.
Yates, sporting a super-sized helmet and visor last seen worn by Darth Vader, recorded a better time than had been predicted and may come into his best form as the race progresses.
The Tour’s superstars opted to pick their start times according to the predicted weather conditions, but the best-laid plans backfired when the heavens opened almost as the stage began. Staying upright and minimising risk on the Tour’s opening stage immediately became the priority, but even so the slick city streets caught out some.
With Pogacar watching on, his chief rivals, Slovenian compatriot Roglic and his Danish teammate, Vingegaard, fuelled the expected leadership battle within their Jumbo-Visma team by finishing only a second apart. Their duel for supremacy, alongside their battle to overthrow Pogacar, is likely to be one of the talking points of the Tour.
In what is expected to be a stressful and hectic weekend of racing, before Monday’s lengthy transfer to northern France, a second all-too-familiar story is shadowing the peloton after French prosecutors, coordinating with Europol, confirmed that their third raid in a year, and second in a week , on the Bahrain Victorious team, was in pursuit of prohibited substances.
“Law enforcement and judicial authorities in France, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia have carried out a coordinated action against the use of prohibited substances in cycling races,” Europol said in a statement.
“The investigation was led by the French OCLAESP under the supervision of the French public prosecutor’s office in Marseille to look into possible doping allegations of a cycling team participating in the Tour de France .
“Three people were interrogated. The investigation is ongoing and the evidence seized is being forensically examined.
“The properties of several riders and their staff were searched in Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia.”
Meanwhile a statement from the French prosecutor’s offices in Marseilles, where the investigation is based, contradicted what the Bahrain Victorious team said after Thursday’s raid, when they stated that “no items were seized”.
According to the French authorities, “Electronic material (phones, computers, hard drives) and medicines – of which the nature and origin remain undetermined, or which require a prescription – have been seized.”
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Geraint Thomas consolidates Tour de France podium spot
Ineos Grenadiers captain accepts that overturning advantage of Jonas Vingegaard or Tadej Pogačar will be 'hard'
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Geraint Thomas wasn’t defeated, but he was accepting of reality. Bar disaster for him or the two riders in front of him, third place at the 2022 Tour de France is within his grasp.
But his chances of a second win appear vanishingly small.
The Welshman had battled on smartly and doggedly to take fourth on the race’s first big visit to the high Pyrenees but he was left behind by UAE Emirates rider Brandon McNulty’s strong pace setting on the Col de Val Louron-Azet.
“It’s hard now isn’t it,” he said when asked if he could move up the GC rankings at the finish line. “I don’t know how far down I was, something like two minutes and they’re super strong as we know but it’s nice to be in the mix.”
The 2018 Tour champion’s gap to the yellow jersey is now 4-56, with Tadej Pogačar in second slightly closer at 2-38 up the standings, while his advantage over Nairo Quintana in fourth place is 2-57.
Asked if he could feel comfortable in third spot now, the Ineos Grenadiers leader said: “It's obviously a decent advantage, but we've seen everyone's had pretty bad days, apart from Vingegaard at the moment, well and myself I haven't had a super bad day yet. Hopefully I can continue to ride as I am and hopefully it will solidify that place. But tomorrow, we'll see.”
Stage 17 was Thomas’s worst day so far in terms of the time lost to the front two but even then he gained on all those behind him in the GC pecking order. Having been dropped on the penultimate climb of the day he joined up with a following group for the ride to the foot of the final climb to Peyragudes before fending off an attack from Romain Bardet (DSM) and then leaving everyone behind to place fourth on the day.
Ineos Grenadiers sports director Steve Cummings added: “You can't really have that [racing for third] mindset. I think it's just doing the best that we can and then let's see what that that brings us….But yeah, something would have to happen, at the moment, to change things.”
Thomas said he wasn’t feeling “tip top” today. “I made the call to wait for group behind rather than try and battle on and go into the red to get back to that group and risk blowing up and then maybe losing even more time,” he said.
He was full of admiration for three-time U23 time trial World Champion Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Emirates) who had done a big turn at the bottom of the Col de Val Louron-Azet putting many of Pogačar’s rivals into trouble. “He put in a hell of a shift for the rider he is,” he said before adding that the Slovenian deserved the win for his depleted team taking the race on aggressively.
“Fair play to whatever they had for breakfast,” he said about the Middle Eastern-backed squad.
He said he had no particular strategy he’d look to employ in the final mountain test other than trying to keep his legs feeling fresh and strong. “I think we’ll just continue to do all we're doing, doing the basics, trying to hydrate and eat well. Although I'm sick of it now, it's mad how you can even get sick of drinking,” he said.
Thomas may have been forced to lower his sights from the top step by the form on display form Pogačar and Vingegaard but he’s shown he is in a class of one behind those two exceptional riders. One suspects he can take some pleasure in that.
Ineos Grenadiers suffer
While Thomas had a sub-par day his fellow Ineos front-runners faired worse.
Adam Yates lost even more time than Thomas on stage 17 and slipped down the GC rankings to ninth.
The Bury-born rider has, Cummings revealed, been suffering with a respiratory illness that has been sweeping through the Ineos Grenadiers camp. Dani Martinez and Jonathan Castroviejo have both had a similar illness, which he assured us was not Covid, and been on antibiotics throughout the race hoping to come back from it.
Meanwhile, Tom Pidcock who had held onto a top ten place until stage 17, also slipped down to 15th. Cummings said as far he was aware Pidcock wasn’t sick. “It's his first Tour de France and just needs to keep it in perspective, really,” he said. “He's won a massive stage. He did a lot of work for the team in the first week. And he's been faultless, really.”
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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.
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Tour de France 2022: Can Geraint Thomas keep pace with Tadej Pogacar and become oldest winner since 1922?
The 2018 champion has been named as one of three general classification leaders for ineos grenadiers after showing impressive form.
“I n cycling now, everyone talks about young guys. If you’re in your 30s, let alone your mid-30s, you’re past it. So it’s always nice to prove people wrong.” Since he uttered those words at the start of the season Geraint Thomas has turned 36, and has spent most of the past few months riding in support of younger team-mates at Ineos Grenadiers. But his capacity and relish for surprising people and proving them wrong remain undiminished.
It had been anticipated that Thomas would be riding in the Tour de France this year for other people, with Dani Martínez, 26, from Colombia, and Adam Yates, 29, from Bury, lined up as his team’s general classification contenders. When Ineos named their eight-man line-up for the Tour on
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1 result and leaderboard
18:59 , Jack Rathborn
Yves Lampaert (Bel) QuickStep-AlphaVinyl 00:15:17
Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 00:00:05
Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:07
Filippo Ganna (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:10
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck 00:00:13
Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:15
Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 00:00:16
Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 00:00:16
Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:17
Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 00:00:20
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1: Yves Lampaert reacts to shock win
18:58 , Jack Rathborn
Lampaert: “Everybody is free to pedal as hard as he can in a time trial, but to beat Van Aert, Van der Poel, Ganna, it’s unbelievable for me. The roads were still really wet when I went, so I think I had the same conditions as the main favourites. I always thought on the corners, ‘Yves, go faster, trust in your tyres, or you’ll lose seconds in the corners.’
“And in the end I came in 5 seconds up on Van Aert. I think I’ll only realise what I’ve done when the Tour is over and I go back to my family. Or maybe on Monday when I see my girlfriend and my son. I think I have to be proud of myself.
“I’ll be thinking of the team on the podium and also my best friend Tim Declercq, who had to go home [due to COVID-19 - ed.] I really wanted to celebrate this moment with him, even if I didn’t expect to have it. It’s a pity he’s not here.”
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1: Yves Lampaert wins Copenhagen time trail
18:41 , Michael Jones
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1: Post-race thoughts from Lampaert
18:34 , Michael Jones
“My mind is exploding,” said an emotional Yves Lampaert. “I came with expectation that the top 10 would be great but I have beaten all the best. I can’t believe it.
“I’m just a farmer’s son for Belgium, to win a stage in the Tour de France, this is something I could never believe would happen and now I’ve done it. To beat Van Aert, Van der Poel, Ganna ... it’s unbelievable.
“The potholes were full of water and the road was wet but I always thought in the corners ‘Yves, trust your tyres!’ I’m only going to realise when the Tour is over that I will have had the yellow jersey for at least one day. Or maybe on Monday, when I see my girlfriend and child.”
18:30 , Michael Jones
Tour de France 2022: Stage 1 leaderboard
18:25 , Michael Jones
Yves Lampaert (Bel/Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 15:17
Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) 15:22
Tadaj Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) 15:24
Filippo Ganna (Ita/Ineos Grenadiers) 15:28
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin–Fenix) 15:30
Mads Pedersen (Den/Trek-Segafredo) 15:32
Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) 15:32
Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 15:33
Bauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) 15:34
Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain Victorious) 15:37
18:22 , Michael Jones
“I have beaten the great Wout van Aert. It’s incredible! I never expected that. For now, I don’t understand. It’s the Tour de France.
“My mind is exploding, I came with the expectation that top-10 would be great but now I’ve beaten the best riders in the world. This is something I never could dream of and I did it.
“I think I have to be proud of myself.”
18:18 , Michael Jones
🏆 🇧🇪 @yveslampaert wins the TT in Copenhagen!! 🏆 🇧🇪 @yveslampaert remporte le contre-la-montre inaugural du #TDF2022 ! pic.twitter.com/6BwbaFQSId — Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 1, 2022
18:16 , Michael Jones
The Yellow Jersey is heading the way of Yves Lampaert. Marc Soler eases his way through the course and comes home with a time of 16:45.
Nowhere near challenging enough for the top half of the draw which wasn’t his aim in all honestly.
18:13 , Michael Jones
15th! A remarkable run from Tom Pidcock sees him cross the line in 15:41, +24s behind leader Yves Lampaert. A very strong start to the Tour from the 22-year-old.
18:09 , Michael Jones
Britain’s Tom Pidcock was 12 seconds down on Christophe Laporte’s earlier mark through the first time check but he was quicker than Dylan Teuns at the intermediate check point and could be on for a top-10 finish if he finishes strongly.
18:04 , Michael Jones
Spanish cyclist Marc Soler is last man down the starting ramp while Yves Lampaert remains in the lead and is extremely unlikely to be caught.
Mikkel Honoré is down!
He loses his grip round one of the slippier corners and hits the deck.
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1: Filippo Ganna reveals puncture
18:04 , Jack Rathborn
Filippo Ganna has revealed he suffered a late puncture in the final kilometre, but the Italian has been humble enough to dismiss it as the reason for failing to win today.
“It’s not an excuse, I don’t think I lost because of that, but it went like that,” said Ganna. “The pain in my legs was considerable, I was trying to limit the damage. With the rain, I didn’t feel at my ease on the corners but on the straights I was quite constant. It went like that.
“It was supposed to be dry when I set off, but it was already wet and then it started raining. Like everybody, like Wout and Tadej, we set out early for that reason. We can’t have any regrets. There were just stronger riders today.”
17:59 , Jack Rathborn
17:55 , Jack Rathborn
Wout having a good long look at Lampaert's socks... 😃 @OutOfCycling pic.twitter.com/nearJQQAK0 — Ian (@cyclingbetting) July 1, 2022
17:53 , Michael Jones
Alexey Lutsenko has won a time trial before at stage 5 of the 2014 Tour of Denmark. It was his first pro victory and he also won the ITT at the Critérium du Dauphiné last year.
At present he is 22 seconds slower than Christophe Laporte at the half way mark.
Tour de France 2022: Stage 1 leaderboard and standings
17:45 , Jack Rathborn
Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) 15:17
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 15:22
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 15:24
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 15:28
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 15:30
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 15:32
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 15:32
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 15:33
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 15:34
Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) 15:38
17:38 , Jack Rathborn
It’s not what Chris Froome would have hoped for, but the four-time winner is back inside and must settle for 85th.
He’s 1:15 down on that sensational time from Lampaert.
Tour de France 2022 - Stage 1: Bradley Wiggins on Chris Froome
17:17 , Jack Rathborn
“The day you underestimate Chris Froome, he will do something at your peril. There’s not as much surface water.
“Chris has a good opportunity here and have a really good ride.
“He wants to put in a good performance and show he’s physically right up there. Wouldn’t it be great to see him win a fifth Tour?”
17:07 , Jack Rathborn
1 Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) 15:17
2 Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 15:22
3 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 15:24
4 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 15:28
5 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 15:30
6 Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 15:32
7 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 15:32
8 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 15:33
9 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 15:34
10 Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) 15:38
Tour de France 2022: Stage 1
17:01 , Jack Rathborn
Yves Lampaert with a stunning ride, topping Van Aert by 4.55 seconds.
The aerosocks will be a controversial topic now. Let’s see now he’s in pole for the Yellow Jersey.
Tour de France 2022: Geraint Thomas reacts to Stage 1
16:54 , Jack Rathborn
“No, not really, the first half was the worst cornering I’ve done in a TT.
“Everybody was saying don’t take risks. I need flow, you don’t have to go fast, but a nice straight line. Nice and smooth. I felt bitty, I was 18-down, behind Van der Poel, I said forget about it and just race.
“A shame about the start. That blinking gillet. Nobody spotted it. I did think about taking it off, but that’d have been dodgy. The main thing is the legs are good.
“I felt really good, in a straight line, I felt like I had power. Mentally that was the toughest TT in a while.”
Tour de France 2022 Stage 1
16:46 , Jack Rathborn
Meanwhile, Yves Lampaert is being criticised on the broadcast for his rather long songs.
There is a feeling they do not meet UCI regulations, they are at least half-way up his shin.
16:45 , Jack Rathborn
Christophe Laporte is down!
That’s a horrendous fall, he slides a good 5-10m on the wet ground, he only had 4.5km to go.
He’s immediately back up and gets going again, but he can forget the Yellow Jersey now.
Tour de France 2022 Stage 1 top 10
16:25 , Jack Rathborn
Van Aert +5”
Van der Poel +13”
16:21 , Jack Rathborn
Pogacar is 2.48 seconds slower than Van Aert, wow, the Slovenian has beaten Ganna over 13km.
A serious statement from the favourite for the Tour. Real drama in the rain.
16:19 , Jack Rathborn
Pogacar is two seconds quicker than Ganna.
Meanwhile Ganna undercuts Van der Poel by almost three seconds. Fascinating.
Pole position for the Italian, a Yellow Jersey in sight.
But here’s Van Aert, he’s flying!
Tour de France 2022 Stage 1: Top 10 times
16:12 , Jack Rathborn
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 15:30
2 Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 15:32
3 Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 15:32
4 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 15:33
5 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 15:34
6 Bob Jungels (AG2R Citroën) 15:40
7 Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) 15:40
8 Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 15:42
9 Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) 15:42
10 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) 15:42
16:08 , Jack Rathborn
Ganna is cautious on these corners.
It’s an intense battle for the Italian, he’ll have had great hopes entering today.
Tour de France 2022 Stage 1: Bradley Wiggins update
16:05 , Jack Rathborn
“The favourite, my favourite, it’s raining like cats and dogs.
“Conditions aren’t ideal for him, physical and also the skills of these corners.
“He looks his robotic self. This is where the tour starts to get going.”
16:03 , Jack Rathborn
Filippo Ganna is out! The favourite, cann the Italian live up to the expectations?
Next up, Van Aert and Pogacar, the big guns!
15:58 , Jack Rathborn
Geraint Thomas goes through the finish line +11.77 on Van der Poel at 50.4kmph.
Impressive ride from the Briton, who has navigated a dangerous stage. He’ll be delighted to get back into the warmth.
Roglic was three seconds off Van der Poel, so no damage done for Thomas.
15:53 , Jack Rathborn
15:46 , Jack Rathborn
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) shoots up to second and just 1.83 seconds behind Van der Poel.
Impressive, too, from Nairo Quintana, who passes Caleb Ewan.
15:45 , Jack Rathborn
Wiggins: “This is the heaviest fall all day. Thomas has kept on his gillet, it’s quite cold, a sign he won’t commit everything to this.
“He didn’t throw caution to the wind. He’s looking gingerly, take it a bit easy, he’s got to do that, it’s three weeks, he doesn’t want to finish on the streets of Copenhagen.
“Thomas is not here to win, it’s a cautious game. A potential podium finish, he could win this race. Fingers crossed for Geraint in these treacherous conditions.”
Tour de France Stage 1
15:43 , Jack Rathborn
Geraint Thomas and home favourite Jonas Vingegaard, two more GC contenders, are next out.
Huge cheers for Vingegaard from the Copenhagen crowd.
Tour de France Stage 1 current standings
15:38 , Jack Rathborn
Van der Poel
15:36 , Jack Rathborn
Dani Martinez is 30 seconds behind Mathieu van der Poel.
Roglic is 2.5 seconds back and home, 50.9 km/h average speed. A statement from the GC contender.
15:31 , Jack Rathborn
Mathieu Van der Poel grabs the early lead, 15:30 at an average speed of 51.1kmph.
Nairo Quintana is out too now.
Roglic looking smooth too, nine minutes in, 0.8 seconds down on Mollema at the check point.
15:26 , Jack Rathborn
15:22 , Jack Rathborn
Bissegger is down again! A nightmare for the Swiss, Dani Martinez is out for Ineos.
And so is Primoz Roglic, one of the big men to watch.
15:18 , Jack Rathborn
Lecroq is first over the line, he clocks 16:19.01.
That’s your reference for the next few hours. He averaged 48.5kmph.
15:17 , Jack Rathborn
Bissegger is down! Wow, that was nasty, the Swiss takes a tumble.
A huge blow for one of the favourites. Bradley Wiggins has outlined how dangerous it is out there, but he does maintain there is reward for those who go for it as others hold back.
The former Tour winner says on Eurosport: “He just went down like a sack of, you won’t lose the Tour here, it’s 13km, it’s a real risky one.
“They’d have got word of the crash. It’ll play on people’s minds. Go for it or hold back? There’s enough distance to gain 20 seconds on your rivals. It’ll make it very difficult. It is treacherous.”
15:13 , Jack Rathborn
Mathieu Van der Poel is out!
The Dutchman will be eyeing the Yellow Jersey within the first few stages of the Tour.
These are sketchy conditions and there’s more risk than reward today.
Bissegger looked like he almost went down on these greasy roads, but a tidy adjustment and one of the favourites is back under control.
15:11 , Jack Rathborn
15:10 , Jack Rathborn
Stefan Bissegger is out! The Swiss is second favourite and in bright pink.
Tour de France 2022 Stage 1 odds
15:07 , Jack Rathborn
Van Aert 4/1
Van der Poel 14/1
15:02 , Jack Rathborn
We’re underway in the 2022 Tour de France!
Lecroq is out, the atmosphere is sensational.
It’s very wet on the roads, so a clear advantage to go out later today when it will hopefully dry out somewhat.
Tour de France 2022
14:59 , Jack Rathborn
Filippo Ganna is the favourite today, the Italian has won 11 of the last 15 time trials.
He’s a three-time Italian National Champion and a two-time World Champion.
After skipping the Giro to concentrate on Le Tour, clearly Ganna means business and wants to pull on the Yellow Jersey here.
14:57 , Jack Rathborn
The training has been logged, with that data now available to for 79 percent of the Tour out of a possible 176 riders.
Strava had revealed that the average pro cyclist logs over 400 hours on the bike in individual training hours this year, with the high-volume riders up at 600 hours.
That’s about 30 hours each week or over 1,000km per week. In terms of elevation: Over 180,000 meters this year, or the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest over twenty times.
Tour de France 2022: Five riders to watch
14:45 , Jack Rathborn
Team: Ineos Grenadiers
Previous appearances: 2020 (28th), 2018 (36th)
Stage wins: One (2020 – stage 13)
The devastating training accident which left 2019 Tour winner Egan Bernal in intensive care at the start of the year ripped up the Ineos Grenadiers’ plans. They go into the race they dominated for the best part of a decade without a stand-out general classification hope but three options in Martinez, 2018 champion Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates . Martinez made his name as Bernal’s super-domestique in last year’s Giro d’Italia, the sight of him urging on his fading compatriot on the slopes of the Sega di Ala one of the defining images of Bernal’s eventual victory. This year he has been rewarded with leadership roles, and after third-placed finishes at the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice he claimed the win in the Tour of the Basque Country. Ineos will try to use their strength in numbers and considerable experience, but it is the youngest of their potential contenders who looks the most likely.
14:40 , Jack Rathborn
Previous appearances: None
Stage wins: None
Bora-Hansgrohe’s shift in focus since the departure of Peter Sagan in the winter has brought swift rewards, none greater than Jai Hindley’s victory in the Giro d’Italia. Now it is the turn of Vlasov to target the Tour. The 26-year-old, who has never previously ridden the race, has victories in the Volta a Comunitat Valenciana and the Tour de Romandie and is an intriguing outsider.
14:35 , Jack Rathborn
Previous appearances: 2017 (38th), 2018 (fourth), 2020 (second), 2021 (DNF – withdrew after stage eight)
Stage wins: Three (2017 – stage 17; 2018 – stage 19; 2020 – stage four)
Expect to see plenty of repeats of that haunting image of Roglic, helmet askew, eyes searching for a finish line that would not come on La Planches des Belles Filles, as a 2020 Tour he had dominated slipped away on that time-trial. Roglic’s bid for redemption last year was ruined by an early crash, but he comes into the 2022 race looking in better nick than the past two years. Roglic had made final-day collapses an unfortunate speciality – losing his grip at the death on the Criterium du Dauphine in 2020 and 2021, and Paris-Nice in 2021 as well, but he has won both races this year – results which would once have made any rider the stand-out favourite for yellow.
14:30 , Jack Rathborn
Team: UAE Team Emirates
Previous appearances: 2020 (first), 2021 (first)
Stage wins: Six (2020 – stages nine, 15, and 20; 2021 – stages five, 17 and 18)
The short opening time-trial aside, the first real test for the general classification contenders at this Tour comes on stage eight to La Planche des Belles Filles. It was on this climb that Pogacar dramatically snatched the Tour away from Roglic in 2020. And since then, it has been hard to think of anyone else winning it. Still only 23, Pogacar makes everything look so easy, from stage racing at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico to one-day classic Strade Bianche, though he did blow a podium finish at the Tour of Flanders. He is once again the man to stop in France.
How the British became so successful at the Tour de France
14:16 , Jack Rathborn
If the average British sports fan knows anything at all about Tom Simpson it’s that he died riding his bike. Ascending the notorious Mont Ventoux in the 1967 Tour de France , he collapsed. That year he was among the favourites for overall victory, the first Briton so heralded. But as the Tour entered its second week Simpson fell ill with diarrhoea. He laboured on. The 13th stage of the race, on 13 July, tackled the 1,909m peak of Ventoux. It was stiflingly hot.
The incredible rise of British success at the Tour de France
‘Everyone wants it’: Tour de France Femmes hailed as big moment for cycling
14:04 , Jack Rathborn
After years of waiting there is less than a month left until the start of the Tour de France Femmes.
A women’s edition of cycling’s biggest race has been top of the wish-list for many riders for a long time, and it will be granted when the peloton sets off from Paris on July 24 – the final day of the men’s race – reaching a climax on La Planches des Belles Filles a week later.
There have been tokenistic attempts, not least the much criticised La Course held alongside the Tour in recent years, but it has taken until now for a proper eight-day women’s Tour to be born.
“As a cyclist people always ask you, ‘Are you doing the Tour de France?’” former British champion Alice Barnes, a rider for Canyon-SRAM, told the PA news agency. “You’d have to say no and explain it’s because there isn’t one.”
Tour de France 2022 talking points: Pidcock’s debut
13:52 , Jack Rathborn
While there are hopes that Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de Suisse less than two weeks ago, has the form to challenge for yellow, in the absence of Cavendish the main draw for British fans will be Tom Pidcock’s Tour de France debut. Still only 22, the mountain bike Olympic champion and cyclo-cross world champion has the cycling world at his feet. Pidcock is in no hurry to start focusing solely on the Grand Tours, but after he rode last year’s Vuelta a Espana for experience, it will be fascinating to see how he handles a second three-week race, and where and when he might decide to have a dig.
Tour de France 2022 talking points: Bahrain-Victorious investigation
13:41 , Jack Rathborn
On Monday the Bahrain-Victorious team announced a number of riders and staff had their homes searched by police prior to their departure for Copenhagen. It comes after police last year raided the team’s hotel during the Tour, with the team saying the latest searches are a continuation of the same anti-doping investigation, though few details are known. Whether or not more comes to light over the next three weeks remains to be seen.
Tour de France 2022 talking points: Pressure on Jakobsen?
13:31 , Jack Rathborn
It has long been QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl’s plan that Fabio Jakobsen and not Mark Cavendish would be their man for the sprints this summer, but confirmation of a Cav-less eight-man squad was still met with disappointment. Cavendish illuminated last year’s Tour with his remarkable run of four victories, a stunning comeback as he matched Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 Tour stage victories, but the Manxman will not be adding to that tally as the ruthless Patrick Lefevere favours the younger man this time. After Cavendish’s superb display in last weekend’s British national road race, Jakobsen – who has fought back from a life-threatening crash at the 2020 Tour of Poland – must surely be feeling the pressure to prove his boss’s decision was right.
Tour de France 2022 talking points: Threat of Covid looms again
13:19 , Jack Rathborn
The most obvious factor that could upend this Tour is the rise of Covid-19 cases across the continent once again. The Tour de Suisse, a key warm-up race, was badly hit as almost 30 riders withdrew either because they had contracted the virus, been deemed a close contact, or because their teams pulled out en masse due to cases within their camp. Already QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl have been forced into a change with key domestique Tim Declerq having tested positive just a few days before the Tour, and there is a real fear there will be more cases in the coming days. The UCI has tightened its Covid regulations in response, but will it be enough to keep the peloton safe?
Tour de France 2022 talking points: Can anyone break up the Pog v Rog show?
13:07 , Jack Rathborn
A lot has happened in the world since 2019, and Egan Bernal’s victory in that summer’s Tour certainly seems a long, long time ago. Tadej Pogacar has won two Tours since then and such has been his dominance in stage racing since it already seems the natural order of things. The only man who has been able to challenge him has been fellow Slovenian Primoz Roglic , who had seemed so in control of the 2020 Tour until the time trial on the penultimate day. The two start as odds-on favourite and most likely challenger. A case can be made for the likes of Geraint Thomas , Dani Martinez, and Aleksandr Vlasov but can any of them genuinely challenge unless the top two run into trouble?
Tour de France 2022: Danish police raid cycling team Bahrain Victorious on eve of Grand Depart
12:55 , Jack Rathborn
Danish police carried out a search at the hotel of cycling team Bahrain Victorious at the request of French authorities on Thursday, Copenhagen Police said in a statement on the eve of the Tour de France Grand Depart.
Authorities searched all team vehicles and the rooms of staff and riders at 5:30 a.m. local time in Brondby. The homes of riders and staff were also searched by police on Monday before their departure for the Tour.
French prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into doping allegations against Bahrain Victorious after police searched the team’s hotel late in last year’s race.
“Based on a request from the French police, as part of an ongoing investigation in France, we have carried out a search at a hotel in Brondby,” Chief Superintendent Dannie Rise said.
Danish police raid team Bahrain Victorious on eve of Tour de France
Tour de France 2022: Stage 2, Saturday 2 July: Roskilde-Nyborg, 202.5km
12:40 , Jack Rathborn
This long stage could prove pivotal as the peloton traces Denmark’s northern coastline, where crosswinds could split the back and put a serious dent in the hopes of those on the wrong side. Three categorised climbs feature in the middle of the stage before what is set to be a spectacular finale across the Great Belt Bridge
Tour de France 2022: Stage 1, Friday 1 July: individual time trial, Copenhagen, 13.2km
12:25 , Jack Rathborn
The Tour usually begins on Saturday but the transfer from this year’s opening three stages in Copenhagen to northern France means an early rest day and a Friday start to accommodate it. A flat time trial through the streets of Copenhagen opens the show with plenty of intricate tight corners, but given it is only over 13km there shouldn’t be huge time gaps created among the leaders. Even so, the pure climbers will be conscious to minimise losses here.
Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide, route maps and profiles
12:12 , Jack Rathborn
The 2022 Tour de France begins in Copenhagen on Friday 1 July and finishes in Paris on Sunday 24 July, where Slovenian superstar Tadej Pogacar hopes to be wearing yellow and be crowned champion for the third year in a row.
Standing in his way is the sheer strength and depth of Dutch team Jumbo-Visma , who carry multiple threats including Pogacar’s national teammate Primoz Roglic and last year’s Tour runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard. Ineos Grenadiers are without their leading light Egan Bernal, the 2019 champion who is still recovering from injury, but they do have the in-form Geraint Thomas fresh from winning the Tour de Suisse, as well as potential stage winners Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock.
Here is a stage-by-stage look at this year’s route.
Tour de France 2022 stage-by-stage guide
11:56 , Jack Rathborn
Geraint Thomas was happy to hear his prospects for yellow at this year’s Tour de France talked up by “Grandad Brad” Wiggins but insisted he will take things as they come over the next three weeks.
Thomas goes into Friday’s opening stage in Copenhagen on the back of victory in the Tour de Suisse two weeks ago. However, he is one of three leaders of the Ineos Grenadiers – alongside Dani Martinez and Adam Yates – as they look to take on the likes of defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic.
Wiggins last week told a Eurosport podcast that the 36-year-old Welshman might be an underdog this summer but warned to “dismiss Geraint Thomas at your peril” as he backed him for a podium finish.
“It’s always nice when you hear Grandad Brad says things like that about you,” Thomas said of the man he won Olympic gold alongside in 2008.
“I’m feeling good. Suisse showed I was in decent shape, so we’ll see how it goes here. We’ve got a super-strong team. The main thing is we ride together, we’re aggressive together and we ride off each other, which is what we’ve done all year.”
Tour de France 2022: Jumbo-Visma contenders enjoy training session
11:40 , Jack Rathborn
Tour de France 2022: How to watch on TV and online
11:37 , Jack Rathborn
Tour de France coverage can be found this year on ITV4, Eurosport, Discovery+ and GCN+ (Global Cycling Network).
Live racing each day will be shown on ITV4 before highlights typically at 7pm each day. ITV’s website lists timings here .
Eurosport and GCN+ will show every minute of every stage. More on Eurosport’s coverage here and the GCN+ coverage here .
It is also being shown on Eurosport’s Discovery+ streaming service, with broadcast info here .
Tadej Pogacar: The invisible champion out to win historic third Tour de France
10:39 , Jack Rathborn
In Monaco, Tadej Pogacar blends into the city. He walks invisibly through the streets and potters freely around his local supermarket. Even in his favourite bike shop, the best cyclist in the world queues among the muggles without being disturbed. “I like to go inside and see what’s new, and of course I don’t mind if there’s customers in front of me, it’s normal,” he says.
By all measures a double Tour de France champion should be one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet, a bonafide global superstar unable to walk through a hotel lobby without dark glasses and an entourage, but somehow Pogacar has not yet transcended the sport. One suspects if he was from cycling’s European heartlands or the US with a name that rolled off the tongue, his profile might be a little different. His “TP” brand with an eagle motif and a “never give up” tagline is yet to take off quite like Roger Federer or Tiger Woods.
But understated and low-key is how Pogacar approaches life and cycling, just riding for the joy of it, an ethos which has brought rich rewards so far. After winning back-to-back Tours de France, an historic third next month would set him firmly on course to becoming one of cycling’s all-time greats, and what makes it all possible is just how little he is driven by his own sporting legacy. “For me that’s not something that I would enjoy after [my career] too much and brag about it. I work hard to win a lot of races, but for me the priority is just to be a good friend to my friends and have good relations with the people I want in my life.”
Pogacar is sitting in a lodge in the Italian Alps where he’s been preparing for the Tour, which begins on Friday. He likes it here because he can drive over the border and be home in a few hours – Monaco might be his place of residence these days but it is clear that “home” to Pogacar still means Slovenia. “For me honestly the hardest part of racing is being away from your home so much. It’s our passion and we live a good life so I will not complain, but if you don’t enjoy it anymore, the cycling life, if everything starts to bother you then it’s better if you just find something else that makes you happy.”
Among his 10 victories this season have been many different ways to win, from the gradual grinding of opponents into the dirt to late solo bursts and even what he describes as a “stupid, dangerous move” to win the prestigious Strade Bianche with an attack over treacherous gravel 50km from home. Of the final three stages of the Tour of Slovenia this month, the only one he didn’t win was decided over a game of rock, paper, scissors with his teammate approaching the finish line (Pogacar chose paper to Rafal Majka’s rock and so finished second).
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Geraint Thomas Confirms Giro d’Italia and Tour de France Participation for 2024
Geraint Thomas confirms he will race both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2024, marking his 18th season in the professional peloton. He expressed his desire to return to the Giro after narrowly missing out on the maglia rosa in 2023 and to perform better at the Tour.
Thomas' decision to compete in both the Giro and the Tour holds significance as he aims to challenge top competitors and achieve better results, showcasing his enduring competitiveness and determination in the sport.
- Thomas will race in his 18th season as a professional cyclist.
- He aims to compete in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2024.
- Thomas will commence his season with races at the Volta ao Algarve, Volta a Catalunya, and Tour of the Alps.
- He extended his contract with Ineos Grenadiers until 2025.
Thomas plans to start his season with races in February and build momentum leading to his participation in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
Geraint Thomas' decision to compete in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France for the 2024 season reflects his enduring commitment to elite cycling and desire to challenge for top honors at the sport's marquee events.
The summary of the linked article was generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence technology from OpenAI
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Geraint Thomas to ride Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2024
'It's something which will certainly get me out of bed in the morning' says Welshman
Geraint Thomas has confirmed he will race both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2024, his 18th season in the professional peloton.
The 37-year-old Welshman revealed his 2024 goals during an Instagram Live Q&A with Matt Stephens from an altitude training camp at Mount Teide on Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
He returns to the Giro d’Italia after narrowly losing the maglia rosa and overall victory in 2023 to Primož Roglič on the penultimate stage mountain time trial, while his last appearance at the Tour was in 2022 where he finished on the podium behind Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar. Thomas will clash with Pogačar at the 2024 Giro.
"I'm basically going to ride the Giro and the Tour,” said Thomas.
“I really wanted to go back to the Giro after last year and give it another big go. And obviously the Tour, I didn't like missing it last year. So I'm going to try and stay on it and go into the Tour and try to get the best result, or go into it in the best shape."
'Open to all possibilities' - Egan Bernal outlines early-season race schedule
Dave Brailsford gives up Ineos team principal title amid new Manchester United role
Ineos Grenadiers admit they are now 'the hunter rather than the hunted'
Thomas extended his time with Ineos Grenadiers until 2025 after signing a new contract in October that will see his time at the British squad span 16 years.
Confirmed alongside him at the Tour de France for the British team will be Tom Pidcock and Carlos Rodríguez, with both also hoping to challenge the overall GC.
Rodríguez was fifth at last year’s race and took a stage win while Pidcock looked solid in the top ten until stage 14 when he lost over eight minutes to the favourites.
Thomas revealed his limited race programme preceding the two Grand Tours with a season debut at the Volta ao Algarve in February, followed by two more weeks of stage racing at the Volta a Catalunya and Tour of the Alps. He will also head to an altitude camp in Sierra Nevada to prepare for his summer goals.
"It's going to be a massive challenge because I've never done it before. Well I did it in '17 but I crashed out of both, so hopefully, it will be a bit better than that,” he laughed.
“It's a big challenge, it's my 18th year as a professional so I need to mix it up a bit. It's something which will certainly get me out of bed in the morning."
Thomas revealed how the now-former team principal of Ineos Grenadiers, Sir Dave Brailsford, was involved in the process of going to both after lengthy discussions within the team.
“It got to a stage where I was just like, 'Can we just decide now please,'” Thomas laughed after admitting "It had always been in the back of my mind since last year really.”
“It definitely excites me. It definitely makes me anxious as well, but I think you need that - well I need that anyway - I think you need to be under a bit of pressure and to know that it's a big deal to race those two.”
Thomas rode two Grand Tours in 2023 without overwhelming success following a strong showing at the Giro. His second-ever appearance at the Vuelta was lacklustre by his standards as a series of crashes and bad luck in the first week ended his GC hopes.
He will be relishing the pair of time trials on offer at both Grand Tours in 2024, with the final stage of this year’s Tour also finishing on home roads away from home. Stage 21 starts in Monaco, where Thomas resides, for an uphill time trial into Nice.
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James Moultrie is a gold-standard NCTJ journalist who joined Cyclingnews as a News Writer in 2023 after originally contributing as a freelancer for eight months, during which time he also wrote for Eurosport, Rouleur and Cycling Weekly. Prior to joining the team he reported on races such as Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d’Italia Donne for Eurosport and has interviewed some of the sport’s top riders in Chloé Dygert, Lizzie Deignan and Wout van Aert. Outside of cycling, he spends the majority of his time watching other sports – rugby, football, cricket, and American Football to name a few.
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