Geraint Thomas (Sky) says he will try not to turn on the power too high too soon when he tackles Saturday’s 8.7 kilometre Giro d'Italia prologue and instead turn in a well-calculated performance that could see him take the race’s first pink jersey.
The winner of the prologue in the Tour de Romandie – considered a sound form-guide for the Giro – a couple of weeks back, the 25-year-old says “it’s going to be about not getting excited too early on, as I tend to in prologues. Instead I’ll want to keep a steady pace in the first half, and then empty the tank on the last part, so it’s completely empty when I hit the line.”
“I’ve always gone 100 percent in prologues” – in the Tour prologue in 2010 in Rotterdam, he took fifth – “but after Romandie people are talking about me a bit more.”
“It’s a nice little individual target, then the sprint days will be big for me and the team, plus there’s the team time trial. And we’ve got Rigoberto [Urán] for the overall as well, which gives us a real focus in the mountains, too.”
Back in the Giro d’Italia for the first time since 2008 - which he finished strongly and rounded off with a twelfth place in Milan’s final time trial - Thomas says that there will be a “big difference between Romandie and the Giro prologue.”
“Romandie was 3.6 kilometres, about three and a half minutes, so the effort was within the [track] team pursuit time” – Thomas’ big target for the summer in the 2012 Olympic Games.
“When it’s eight kilometres, that’s a 10 or 11 minute time, so you have to measure it all much more carefully.”
“Hopefully all that solid hard work in Romandie, riding on the front so much, will set me up nicely for these three weeks and the longer prologue here.”
Although the weather is not looking great for Saturday, Thomas says he is not too bothered. “I got fifth in Rotterdam when it rained hard, it’s just if somebody gets a dry run and the others are in the wet, that can make a big difference on a circuit with so many corners .”
Thomas is planning to go all the way to Milan – “it’ll be the last big block of road racing before the Olympics”. And he jokingly points out that “the 19th stage with five climbs is on my birthday, May 25th, so that’ll be a good way to celebrate.”