Geraint Thomas has found his new role model in Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and intends to abandon the track with a possible long-term goal of becoming the next Briton to win the Tour. The Team Sky rider also supports plans to bring the Tour de France to his native Wales.
Thomas, 26, rode the Tour in 2010 and 2011 but skipped it this year to concentrate on the London Olympics. He successfully defended his gold medal in the team pursuit, a discipline in which he is also World champion. However London 2012 will probably be his last Olympic appearance on the track.
“I will never say never and it will depend on what happens on the road, but ideally my career will be on the road. My aim right now for Rio is to ride the time trial on the road and see how I develop.” Thomas said in an interview with walesonline.co.uk.
He will now concentrate on the road, and perhaps follow the same career path as Wiggins.
“I don’t see why I can’t follow what Bradley has done, but at the moment, it is hard to say how I will develop,” he said.
“If you had sat Brad down when he was 26, there was no chance he would have said he would win the Tour de France. And if you compare what Brad had done at my age, you might say I am a little bit ahead.”
“I can see now that it can be done, but just because Bradley has achieved it, does not mean I will because he is a phenomenal bike rider."
Thomas will first focus on the cobbled Classics and then hopes to help Team Sky at the Tour de France and learn more about the sports biggest grand tour.
“The Classics are a big aim for me and then it is about going onto the Tour, riding for the team and hopefully continuing my progress on the road. I am looking to climb better, get leaner and see how I improve,” he explained.
The Tour is never far from his mind. “It is the biggest race on the calendar and everyone knows about the event, so I am looking to get back in the thick of it. Hopefully, it will be the same as the last Tour where we had two strong riders fighting for the win. I would love to be a part of it.”