Geraint Thomas has no intention of following Mark Cavendish By stepping into retirement and completing a contract extension as soon as he aims for the success of the Giro d’Italia ineos Bombers.
Welsh Thomas admits he didn’t quite believe his plans would come true when he told his friend Cavendish in secret before this year’s Giro.
Thomas, who played a key role in Cavendish’s win of the world road racing championship in 2011, hailed Manxman as “the greatest sprinter of all time” and hopes he continues to break the Tour de record. France Stage wins later this summer.
Having previously hinted that 2023 could be his last season as a professional cyclist, Thomas – who will turn 37 on Thursday – is fully focused on the challenges ahead.
“I said I just wanted to concentrate on the race before this lap starts,” Thomas said at a press conference on Monday’s Giro rest day.
“Negotiations have started to extend[my contract]with this team, but hopefully I’ll be crossing that bridge in a few weeks after this race.”
Thomas, who won the 2018 Tour de France, competed with Cavendish in the Tour de France. British Cycling setup and for a season on Team Sky.
“When you see his record he is the greatest sprinter of all time and it is an honor to race him,” Thomas said.
“Mark told me at the beginning of the Giro. I didn’t really believe him. I thought he’d continue.
“He’s had an incredible career. He’s still racing though and he needs to break the record on the Tour de France and hopefully win a stage here.”
Thomas handed the pink jersey to Bruno Armirail on stage 14 and entered Tuesday’s 203km mountain course from Sabbio Chiese to Monte Bondone, just over a minute slower than speed and just two seconds ahead of favorite Primoz Roglic.
But Thomas will not take unnecessary risks as he charts a successful path to Rome.
“I definitely want to race, but I don’t want to attack just for fun and then blow myself up and someone else profit from it,” Galli said.
“We have three mountain peak road stages and a super tough TT (race against the clock) so people have to try it.
“We (Ineos) are clearly not leading the race because I’m second, but when you look at the GC guys at the top of the tree, you can tell the other guys have the burden of trying to buy some time.
“But we have our own way of thinking about how we want to race and what we think, and I hope that can happen.”
Thomas added: “I don’t think any of us would feel too comfortable with this right now – there’s only two seconds between Primoz and me and anything can happen.
You certainly know that he will try to buy both me and my time in the same way as Joao (Almeida).
“The next three mountain stages will be interesting because we’re all going to see if we can get on top of the others and jump something over.”