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"For me the goal is to be in the position where I am good enough to attack, and attack to race for the win."

Photo: Sirotti

GERAINT THOMAS

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27.01.2016 @ 15:15 Posted by Renaud Breban

Geraint Thomas, who started his season at the Tour Down Under and helped Sergio Henao to finish on the podium of the first WorldTour race, would like to become a Grand Tour rider. Last year, he showed he has the legs to be competitive at the Tour de France. Interviewed by Cyclingnews, he told about his leader Chris Froome, the Olympic Games, Classics and race weight.

 

He did some great performances on spring classics, but now he wants to be strong on stage races. "After last year I was really shocked, really and excited and I just wanted to see how far I can take that. This year, the week long stages are the ones I really want to get stuck into and see what I can do. Then when it comes to the Tour I want to go as a solid back up for ‘Froomey,’ and if anything did happen I would want to be at my best to try to make the most of that. I think I am in the best team to learn to do that … not just to get fit and everything I need to do at that level, but also when it comes to off the bike … and just being around ‘Froomey’ so much and seeing how he dealt with all the [off saddle] stuff happening [last] year. Also just leading the team in stages races is a lot different mentally than just going to a stage race and having to set the pace with 5km to go. [It] is quite a bit different to be the one to finish it off."

 

He told Froome about his transition as a rider. "I speak to ‘Froomey’ a lot. I obviously do a hell of a lot of training with him. He seemed genuinely gutted when I had that bad day and lost my position [in last year’s Tour]. He is constantly talking, ‘Oh ‘G’ you could be on that podium alongside me,’ which for sure would be awesome, but I think for myself I am not really going to give myself a target as in an overall position. But as high as possible would be great."

 

"For me the goal is to be in the position where I am good enough to attack, and attack to race for the win; and when it comes down it there are so many different scenarios. The goal from here is to just be as good as I can be for July and obviously for my bit, for Froomey, but hopefully think about myself a bit more and not have that that bad day and maybe hold on to as good a GC position I can really."

This year, he will target the Tour de France with Froome. But he would like to test himself on the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia in 2017. "I would be up for riding Giro-Vuelta next year … I don’t know. I think you can do the Giro and Vuelta in the same year and be competitive in both. That’s a hell of a lot of learning and stuff you can go through. At the same time, to miss the Tour (http://www.cyclingnews.com/tour-de-france) would be big. It just depends on how the Tour goes this year. [I’ll] make more decisions after."

 

He will race Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya. He will be present at the start of the Tour of Flanders too. "The thinking is I will do Paris-Nice, go to Catalunya and drop in, do Flanders and then a short camp in Tenerife and then do Liege and Romandie. It’s come to that point where I need to decide what road I want to go down. I think you can still be competitive in both – the one day cobbles and on ‘GC’ [in tours]. But I want to ride as many stage races as I can. It’s all learning and trying to grow. Catalunya [also] falls the wrong time. It clashes with E3 and Wevelgem. It was a hard decision to make because E3 is my biggest win and I love that race. I have done it a number of times and have always had decent results. But you have to make a call somewhere."

 

In order to be in an optimel level on stage races, Thomas told he has to lose weight. "I was around 68 [kg] in the Tour last year, so I think maybe one more kilo. But there is also a fine balance. I don’t want to push it too much and then go to the Tour too light and have no power, especially with a time trial there as well this year. I definitely am going to try and keep a lid on it because it is so easy too … it’s infectious, especially when you go to training camps, to keep pushing. Its also having that confidence to stop and say,’ Okay this weight is good,’ and still train hard. It’s when you are going hard as well and go ‘do another hour’ or toughen up a little or do an extra little effort, then you can find yourself just going over the edge."

 

Like a lot of riders, he hopes to be selected for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. "I will do similar to the ‘Commie’ Games, go full gas in the Tour and not even think about afterwards, then kind of switch your mind to Olympics. I want to try and get a ride in both [road race and time trial] but we only have one spot in the ‘TT’ so that’s a big shame, but I want to give everything to try to go there and ride both."

 

 

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