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Geraint Thomas admits 'going through the motions' saw him left out of Tour de France

Joe Robinson
25 Sep 2020

A long discussion with Dave Brailsford convinced Thomas to focus efforts on Giro d'Italia

Geraint Thomas has admitted he was not in shape to contest the recent Tour de France after 'going through the motions' in training following the uncertainty surrounding this year's season.

The 2018 champion was a shock omission from this year's Tour as Ineos Grenadiers team manager Sir Dave Brailsford decided to leave both Thomas and four-time winner Chris Froome at home, focussing the team's efforts solely on defending champion Egan Bernal.

Brailsford's decision to send Thomas and Froome to the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana respectively was criticised by many, especially when Bernal withdrew from the Tour with persistent back issues before Stage 17. 

The race was eventually won by 21-year-old Slovenian Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates making it only the second occasion since 2012 in which the British WorldTour team has not won the Tour.

However, talking to BBC Sport, Thomas has said it was the right decision to target the Giro instead of the Tour as he was not in the necessary shape to contend for the yellow jersey.

'I knew the week before I wasn't in the shape really to be winning it. I got the training done, but when I look back now I definitely think I was just going through the motions,' admitted Thomas.

'We didn't know what the calendar was going to look like. We didn't know if there was going to be any racing. 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.'

Once lockdown restrictions eased, Thomas began to up his training regime towards the Tour but admits it was not to the level needed to contest a Grand Tour.

'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,' Thomas added.

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

Thomas also revealed that this situation saw him and team manager Brailsford sit down for 'a big, long discussion' to discuss the Welshman's 2020 season. It was here that they decided he should focus on the Giro, starting on Saturday 3rd October, as it gave him 'an extra six weeks then to work on my weight and get an extra bit of racing in the bank.'

The decision has seemingly paid off. Instead of racing the Tour, Thomas went to find more form at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy. He finished second on General Classification, 17 seconds behind fellow Brit Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and looked to be getting back to his Grand Tour-winning best.

Before the Giro begins in Sicily next weekend, Thomas will focus on Friday's UCI World Championships time-trial in the Italian city of Imola. A rolling 31km course, Thomas is an outside bet for the medals but is likely to struggle against trade teammates Rohan Dennis of Australia and Italian Filippo Ganna.