After winning Olympic gold on the track in his early years, Thomas’ initial focus on the road was the one-day arena, with a win at E3, a podium at Gent-Wevelgem, and top-10s at Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
However, from around 2015, Thomas decided to make stage racing his primary focus, and was justified when he won the Tour de France in 2018. He will again target the Tour this year but, as he approaches his 35th birthday, he is considering his career bucket list.
On his ‘Cycling Club’ podcast, Thomas welcomed Tom Boonen as a guest, and the four-time Paris-Roubaix winner told him: “You can win Paris-Roubaix, man, you can easily win Paris-Roubaix.”
Thomas responded: “For sure it’s still that burning desire to give that one more good go. Hopefully next year.”
Boonen seemed convinced of Thomas’ ability in the cobbled Classics, recalling them being in a break together in the 2014 edition of Paris-Roubaix. Boonen placed 10th as his teammate Niki Terpstra won solo, while Thomas was 7th.
Thomas last rode Paris-Roubaix in 2018 but crashed out early on but hasn’t done any Classics since then.
"I never understood all that GC stuff," Boonen joked. "[Thomas] can win 25 Classics if he tries and he's going to the Tour de France in July in the heat, sweating his ass off for a month, starving himself for six or maybe 12 months a year.
“After you’re finished chasing your second Tour, you should do another few years in the Classics. Give me a call and I can show you how it’s done.”
Thomas, despite his current focus, seemed to express a preference for the all-or-nothing nature of the Classics.
“That’s always been my first love in cycling, those cobbled races,” he said.
“The thing with one-day racing is it’s A to B, it’s over in one day, and it’s just spontaneous as well. With stage racing, especially the Grand Tours now, it’s a lot of calculating, holding back, ‘do this do that’, whereas one day racing is ‘go empty the tank’.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.