This is my last contract – Geraint Thomas signs new Ineos Grenadiers deal
Geraint Thomas has signed a new two-year contract with Ineos Grenadiers that the 2018 Tour de France winner says he expects to be his last as a professional cyclist.
The new deal will extend the 37-year-old’s time with the team, which first launched as Team Sky at the start of the 2010 campaign, to 16 seasons.
Thomas has remained competitive late into his career, and narrowly missed out on a second Grand Tour victory at the Giro d’Italia in May, losing the pink jersey to Primoz Roglic on the penultimate day’s time trial before settling for second overall.
A tilt at the Vuelta a Espana late in the season was ruined by early crashes, but Thomas, an Olympic champion on the track before he switched his attention full-time to the road, said his love for the sport remained undimmed.
“I am really delighted to extend my time as an Ineos Grenadier,” Thomas said.
“I still just love riding my bike – racing and training with the boys – every single aspect of it.
“Although you never say never, in my head this is my last contract – but I know that I still have two more big years in me. And I wouldn’t have continued in a different team.
“This team understands me and, importantly, knows what it takes to achieve success. I have childhood mates here – Luke (Rowe) and (Ben) ‘Swifty’ as riders and (Ian) Stannard now in management, and I’ve known Rod (Ellingworth, deputy team principal) since 2003. This really does feel like home.”
While Thomas has continued to contend himself despite his age, picking up overall victories at the Tour de Romandie and Tour de Suisse in the last two seasons, he has also been willing to ride in the service of others, something valued greatly by the Grenadiers.
“I want to continue to be highly competitive in anything really; maybe look at going to the Classics again or ride GC in Grand Tours or help whoever is going to be the next guy coming through, but I just want to have a positive impact on the team,” Thomas added.
“I’m at that stage where I’m still hungry to perform but at the same time, I am happy to help the team. I want to try and help us push forward to get back to the very top of the sport.”
Thomas’ new contract comes as the Grenadiers try to find a way to regain the dominance they once enjoyed at the top of the sport.
A team that won seven out of eight editions of the Tour between 2012 and 2019 has not been on the top step since Egan Bernal’s victory four years ago, and are still seeking a rider capable of challenging the likes of Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar.
But Ellingworth said that, despite his age, Thomas can play a key role in getting them back to the top.
“G is such an integral part of our team’s set-up and rider culture,” Ellingworth said.
“Not only has he won some of the biggest races in the world, but he’s also shown he’s a true champion off the bike, through the crucial role he plays across the wider team and with the younger riders.
“The team’s ambition is to again stand on the top step of the Tour de France podium and Geraint is going to play an integral part in realising that goal as we bring through a crop of young and exciting talent at the Ineos Grenadiers.”
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