09 September 2020

Geraint Thomas admits he did not want to go to Tour de France without being leader

Geraint Thomas has revealed he did not want to go to the Tour de France this year in a support role as he feels he still has the ability to lead the team.

Thomas and fellow Tour winner Chris Froome were both left out of Team Ineos Grenadiers’ Tour squad in order to focus on trying to win the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta Espana.

Thomas became the third Brit to win the Tour de France in 2018 (PA)

And while the Welshman admits he was upset not to be selected for the Grand Depart in Nice ten days ago, he is now excited about his chances at the Giro, which begins on October 3.

"It was a disappointment not to be 100 per cent for the Tour, but I've definitely done some good work now. I think the extra six weeks [until the start of the Giro] will help me," Thomas told Cycling News.

"I'm fully motivated for the Giro because I've spent a lot of time in Italy. The three time trials suit me, too, and so I'm really looking forward to it.

"Obviously, the Giro was a big goal in 2017, but I crashed out. I always said I wanted to come back again, and so this year is perfect for that. It was always in the back of my mind to come back and try to get a GC result."

Ineos’ team principal Dave Brailsford made the decision to leave Thomas out of the Tour team because he had shown little form since returning from the coronavirus pandemic.

And while it was not ideal for the Cardiff-born rider to miss out on being the team leader, he insists he did not want to go to France in a different capacity.

He added: "I think there were a number of things – not just one thing you can put your finger on and say it was because of this. There were a load of little things, and it happened that I didn't feel 100 per cent.

"This may sound bad, but I didn't want to go to the Tour de France, not be 100 per cent and just ride for the team. I feel I'm at an age where I definitely want to make the most of all the chances I can get. It felt like the Giro was a better fit for me this year.

"I still feel I'm at a level where I can still perform for myself, and so I didn't want to go the Tour in another role."

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