Thomas rel­ishes ‘new lease of life’ af­ter Tour snub

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Tom Cary

Geraint Thomas says he is “not try­ing to prove any­thing to any­one” as he pre­pares to ride in the World Time Trial Cham­pi­onships in Italy to­day. The Welsh­man added that his con­tro­ver­sial ex­clu­sion from Ineos’s Tour de France squad had given him a “new lease of life”.

Thomas, 34, was a sur­prise omis­sion from an eight-man Tour team af­ter strug­gling in the warm-up races. The Bri­tish squad went on to have a dis­ap­point­ing race, with leader and de­fend­ing cham­pion Egan Ber­nal aban­don­ing in the fi­nal week. Some pun­dits, notably Sir Bradley Wig­gins, claimed Thomas’s pres­ence would have “changed the whole dy­namic of the team”.

But Thomas, speak­ing ahead of to­day’s 32kilo­me­tre time trial in Imola, re­fused to crit­i­cise Ineos prin­ci­pal Sir Dave Brails­ford, in­sist­ing the de­ci­sion was a joint one and adding that it had given him “new­found im­pe­tus”, with his sights now firmly set on the Giro d’Italia which be­gins in Si­cily a week tomorrow.

“It’s not about prov­ing any­thing to any­one,” he said. “It [the Tour] was a de­ci­sion that Dave and my­self made to­gether af­ter the Cri­terium du Dauphine. It ac­tu­ally gave me a new lease of life. I was over [the Tour] pretty quickly. The ini­tial dis­ap­point­ment was more that it was the first real time I’d not hit my tar­get for the year. I knew I wasn’t in the shape to chal­lenge for the win, that was the dis­ap­point­ing thing.

“But I could have an easy week, go back to Cardiff and see my son and switch off for a few days and then build up to the Giro. As soon as I was in Monaco and start­ing the whole Giro project, I was mo­ti­vated. It gave me a new im­pe­tus.”

Thomas has since fin­ished run­ner-up to fel­low Bri­ton Si­mon Yates (Mitchel­ton-Scott) at Tir­reno-Adri­atico a cou­ple of weeks ago.

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