Geraint Thomas has spoken about his ongoing contract negotiations with Ineos Grenadiers, talking about the delay in finding a resolution, but revealing that he and boss Dave Brailsford have come to an agreement, even if pen has still not been put to paper.
The 35-year-old has ridden for the British team since their inception in 2010, winning the Tour de France in 2018, but talks to extend the relationship into a 13th year and beyond have proven difficult.
The team reportedly tabled an offer in the summer but on lesser terms than the deal he signed in the wake of that Tour victory, with the Welshman struggling in 2020 and then crashing out of Tour de France contention this year.
As was the case during the previous round of negotiations in 2018, he entertained interest from other teams but favoured staying put, even if the finer details haven't been easy to thrash out.
"It's hard. I've had to separate the emotional and the business side of things," Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.
"I've known Dave [Brailsford] since 2003 and that relationship is obviously a good one but he has his bosses and his agenda and there's me and what my family want.
"So it's been tough. It's been the worst one [contract] to redo because there's been a lot going on but I'm happy that it's finally almost done."
As reported by Cyclingnews last week, Thomas did confirm that the deal was essentially done, and that he will be racing for Ineos Grenadiers next season, but has still yet to sign on the dotted line.
"It's pretty much done but it's still not signed so I don't want to curse it," Thomas said.
"Once it's announced, we can move on and I can concentrate on getting fit and riding my bike."
With his 36th birthday coming next May, Thomas acknowledged that this could be the final contract of his racing career.
"In two or three years I'll be done then, which is a weird thought, so I really want to enjoy my last few years of racing," he said. "And to enjoy it, I need to be at the front racing to win."
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