Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) will travel to Paris on Sunday and complete another Tour de France, but for the 2018 winner this year’s edition was one of the “dark moments” of what he described as the Toughest lap he’s ever run.
The Welshman was talking about the mental and physical aspects of the race as he warmed up after his individual stage 20 time trial. He entered the race as an overall victory contender after rediscovering a game. in its best form for years in the spring and early summer. However, his Tour de France started to crumble during stage 2 at Mûr-de-Bretagne where he lost time and then a day later when he crashed and dislocated his shoulder. .
He was able to continue in the race but his overall ambitions were interrupted during stage 8 when he entered the grupetto during the first big mountain stage. Since then his race has focused on supporting his teammate Richard Carapaz, who will travel to Paris in third place overall. For his part, Thomas, who will travel to Tokyo on Sunday evening to join the Great Britain team for the Olympic Games, will finish the race well below his pre-race ambitions.
At the end of the time trial he spoke about his issues and the mental aspect of driving this year’s Tour.
“To be honest, it has certainly been the most difficult Tour de France I’ve done, both mentally and physically. Obviously the race was different this year, less controlled, and with some crazy attacks and this and that. But mentally, for everything to collapse on stage 8, then to continue, from top to bottom, it was difficult, ”he said.
“I enjoyed it today. I took it slow and just enjoyed the crowds, and just being alone and not having to worry about accidents or people crashing in front of me or behind me or whatever.
He was also invited by his former teammate, and now Eurosport commentator, Bernard Eisel, why he persevered on the Tour after such a brutally difficult first half of the race.
“That’s exactly who I am, as a person and as a pilot. I go all out whether it’s by bike or to the pub. You have to give yourself 100 percent. You can’t just quit and give up. I had some dark times, don’t get me wrong, but I had the team around to help me get through, ”said Thomas.
Thomas will compete in both the time trial and the road race at the Tokyo Olympics. At the end of the contract at the end of the season, it is not yet clear where the Welshman will compete in the second half, with the Vuelta a España probably not on his racing calendar.