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Geraint Thomas not tempted by end of season Paris-Roubaix

MRDEBRETAGNE GUERLDAN FRANCE JUNE 27 Geraint Thomas of The United Kingdom and Team INEOS Grenadiers at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 2 a 1835km stage from PerrosGuirec to MrdeBretagne Guerldan 293m LeTour TDF2021 on June 27 2021 in MrdeBretagne Guerldan France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) will not ride Paris-Roubaix this year, delaying his return to the cobbles as he takes a short break from what has been a bruising season.

The Welshman had been selected for this week’s Tour de Pologne but decided against participating after crashes derailed his ambitions at both the Tour de France and Tokyo Olympics.

Thomas will instead return to racing at the Benelux Tour later this month, before a series of one-day races.

"My next race is BinckBank [the former name of the Benelux Tour - ed], which is the most dangerous race on the calendar," he said with a laugh during a live-streamed Zwift ride.

"I was down to do Poland but I'm glad I got out of that. Afterwards that I’ll do a couple of one-days and then possibly Worlds."

This year’s World Championships take place in Belgium, with the time trial in the north of the country followed by a hillier road race down near the Wallonia border.

“We’ll see,” Thomas said of Worlds. “I only want to go there if I’m in good shape.”

Thomas, however, will not yet make his eagerly anticipated return to the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, which has been postponed from the spring to October 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in March, Thomas, who placed seventh in the 2014 edition before he moved away from Classics racing and towards stage racing, revealed he still had “a burning desire” to win the ‘Hell of the North’.

He said that “hopefully next year” he could make his return but that was before the race was delayed to the end of the season. Even so, that still looks to be the case as Thomas has no plans to take to the start in Compiegne in six weeks’ time.

“I would like to go back but only when I’m actually ready for it and actually good, otherwise you just go there and get a bit of a kicking,” he said.

“It’s definitely a mindset thing. You’ve got to be up for it and ready to go. The cobbles are so brutal. If you’re up for it and keen, that’s the main thing – you just go all-in and that’s it."

Thomas is coming to the end of his current contract at Ineos Grenadiers and, as Cyclingnews reported recently, and will soon have to make a decision about his future and possible final contract as a professional.

He will not be offered an extension on the same terms as when he won the 2018 Tour de France and was widely considered a Grand Tour contender. However Thomas has ridden for the British team since their inception in 2010 and is unlikely to want to move away.

"I’m just open to listen to everyone,” Thomas said after the Tokyo Olympics time trial.

“Once we’ve got everything on the table, we’ll go from there.

"We’ll try and get that resolved quickly because it’s starting to play on your mind, you just want to get that sorted, but we’ll see."