Geraint Thomas: ‘Going through the motions’ led to Tour omission


Venue: Imola, Italy Dates: 24-27 September
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app and through Connected TVs.

Geraint Thomas admits “going through the motions” amid uncertainty over the year’s racing calendar led to him missing the 2020 Tour de France.

As he targeted success in the men’s race at the UCI Road World Championships in Italy on Friday, Thomas reflected on missing the Tour.

“I knew the week before I wasn’t in the shape really to be winning it,” said the Welshman.

He now wants to impress in Imola and the Giro’d’Italia next month.

If the 2018 Tour winner achieves any of those aims, it may make up for the disappointment of watching from a distance as Tadej Pogacar won the world’s most renowned race.

Thomas said of his approach during the early months of the year: “I got the training done, but when I look back now I definitely think I was just going through the motions.

“Just like, exactly that, just getting it done because at that stage we didn’t know what the calendar was going to look like.

“We didn’t know if there was going to be any racing.

“So yeah, you were kind of just doing it and then, when we came out of lockdown…we went back to France when we could train there at the start of May.

“And then the calendar came out after that and at least it gave us a target to work towards, then it became a bit easier.

“I got the work done, but there’s definitely a big difference, for me anyway, from doing what you need to do and then really doing it with some real purpose and impetus.

“So I think that’s one of the factors why I struggled to make it into top, top shape for the Tour.”

It also led to a decisive meeting with Ineos Grenadiers boss Dave Brailsford.

Thomas told BBC Sport: “I sat down with Dave and had a big, long discussion and decided the Giro was the thing to go for and to target and that gave me an extra six weeks then to work on my weight and get an extra bit of racing in the bank.

“I think it’s helped a lot so like I say, [I’m] raring to go.”

Thomas also says the Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this month in which he finished second to Simon Yates “went really well, actually”, giving him the impetus going into the events in Imola.

He told BBC Sport: “With the Worlds and the Giro coming up it’s something to get excited about again, so yeah, looking forward to going racing.”

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