Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) has confirmed that he will not ride the 2018 Giro d'Italia due to teammate Chris Froome's decision to ride the corsa rosa next year. The Welshman acknowledged that Froome's attempt at the Giro-Tour double limits his opportunities to lead a team in a Grand Tour, and he said that he will listen carefully to offers from other teams for 2019.
Thomas is due to attend a Team Sky training camp this week, and he told BBC Wales that he would avail of the chance to discuss his 2018 programme and his longer-term ambitions with manager Dave Brailsford.
"It's a team sport but at the same time every individual in that team has their own goals and aspirations, what they want to do in their career," Thomas told BBC Wales last week.
"I'd love to go to a couple more Grand Tours as a leader and fully target them and just see what I can do, whether that's ninth, winning one, third or fourth, whatever really."
Thomas began the 2017 Giro as Team Sky’s co-leader with Mikel Landa, but a crash at the foot of the Blockhaus on stage 9 ended his overall ambitions, and he abandoned the race in the second week.
After placing 15th at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Tour de France, Thomas was keen to take the opportunity to lead a team in a Grand Tour, and it was initially anticipated that he would again be given his freedom at the Giro in 2018. Froome's decision to ride the Giro, however, means that Thomas will forgo the corsa rosa, and will instead build towards the Tour.
"Last year was unfinished business but with Froomey going there [the Giro – ed.] he's obviously going to be the main guy, so I don't want to go there and just... I've ridden a lot of Grand Tours in support roles now, so I'm just looking to get those bigger opportunities myself," said Thomas, who added that Froome's Giro exertions might have a knock-on effect come the Tour.
"He might be on his knees at the end and we might need that second back-up guy to be there and be good. So that's a nice goal to have. Obviously Froomey will still be the leader going into it but it might be more of a chance for me to have more of a go myself."
Although Thomas expressed hope that he might lead Team Sky at the Vuelta a España, the race comes after the transfer window opens on August 1, and the 31-year-old already drew attention from teams last summer before he agreed to take up the option of a one-year extension to his current contract.
Thomas said at that point that he would weigh up offers from other teams for the 2019 season, and Froome's Giro-Tour double attempt will hardly have sated his curiosity to test the waters.
"Trek-Segafredo have shown an interest and there are some other teams as well," Thomas said.
"I'm not getting any younger. I don't feel old, but I'm 31 now and I probably only have three or four more years at the very top, so I want to make the most of those. I'm not saying I want to leave or I'm going to but I certainly want to sit down and see what everyone has got to say."