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Geraint Thomas will stay at Ineos Grenadiers as Hammond mulls management offer

British Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the fifth stage of the 73rd edition of the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race 1745km from Saint Chamond to SaintVallier France Thursday 03 June 2021BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas is close to signing a contract extension at Ineos Grenadiers with the final details to be ironed out in the coming days, according to Cyclingnews sources. 

Meanwhile, Roger Hammond, currently Performance Director at Bahrain Victorious, has told Cyclingnews that he is ‘mulling’ over an offer to join Ineos Grenadiers in a move that would reunite him with Rod Ellingworth.

Thomas, who is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, drew interest from several other squads, with Cofidis and Qhubeka NextHash both linked to the 2018 Tour de France winner.

Cofidis’ manager Cedric Vasseur would later distance himself and his team from signing Thomas, but Qhubeka were constantly rumoured to have offered Thomas a contract as his Ineos Grenadiers negotiations developed. The survival of Qhubeka beyond this year is still in question due to a lack of key sponsors.

Ineos had hoped Thomas would stay, both because of his quality and pedigree as a rider but also because of his ‘ambassador’ status, according to Rod Ellingworth. 

In August Ellingworth admitted that Ineos would not be able to match a huge offer from a rival team, telling Cyclingnews that: “There are conversations going on and I’ve tried to give him personal support, especially after the difficult time that he’s had but we’re talking to him and it’s ongoing, but if there’s massive offer then there’s no way we’d be able to keep him. We just need to be realistic.

“There’s quite a lot going on around rider recruitment, and not just for next year but also for the coming years after that. There are a few areas for us to work on.”

Thomas has been on the market before and previously drew serious interest with Trek-Segafredo a few years ago. The American team were not tempted to make an offer this time.

According to a Cyclingnews source ‘just the I's and the T's need to be crossed’ with regards to Thomas’ new deal at Ineos Grenadiers.

35-year-old Thomas been with Ineos Grenadiers, previously known as Team Sky, since the British team’s first season in 2010. 

The team has signed a raft of younger riders for 2022 with Luke Plapp, Ben Tulett, and Magnus Sheffield all joining on long-term contracts. 

The team are also in the midst of a managerial overhaul with head coach Tim Kerrison confirmed to leave at the end of the calendar year. Final decisions have yet to be announced, but Dave Brailsford is also rumoured to be stepping into a more central role at Ineos Sports, while Ellingworth takes on more responsibility with regards to the cycling team.

The management restructure could also see Hammond join after spending a year at Bahrain Victorious. The former professional rider has worked with several major teams and joined Bahrain just before Ellingworth made the switch back to Ineos at the start of 2021. 

Currently, on holiday in Scotland, Hammond told Cyclingnews that he had not signed a contract yet but that he had a choice to make between offers from his existing team and Ineos.

“I’ve not signed anything yet and I’m still mulling things over,” Hammond said.

“I’ve had the luxury of a few offers this year actually. The team has been quite successful and people are keen to learn from different people at successful teams. There are a few different options and it’s a nice place to be this winter given the environment. But I’m still under contract, still talking and still mulling things over.” 

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.