The 2018 Tour de France winner is still a consistent Grand Tour rider despite being 37-years-old. He finished a close second to Primož Roglič at the Giro d’Italia, only losing the maglia rosa on the stage 20 Monte Lussari time trial.
Thomas is expected to be a team leader but also play a mentoring role for younger riders.
“I am really delighted to extend my time as an Ineos Grenadier. I still just love riding my bike – racing and training with the boys – every single aspect of it,” Thomas said, confirming that he would not have raced on for another team and that this is likely his last contract.
“Although you ‘never say never’, in my head this is my last contract - but I know that I still have two more big years in me.
“This team understands me and, importantly, knows what it takes to achieve success. I have childhood mates here - Luke [Rowe] and [Ben] Swifty as riders and [Ian] Stannard now in management, and I’ve known Rod [Ellingworth] since 2003. This really does feel like home.”
Ineos Grenadiers announced Thomas’ contract extension on Monday after a long period without any 2024 roster announcements from the British team. Other contract extensions are now expected.
Thomas suggested he could return to the Classics, where he was strong in the earlier years of his career, won E3 Harelbeke and finished in the top-10 of both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. He also hopes to aid the next generation at Ineos as the British side vies to again become the top team in cycling.
“I want to continue to be highly competitive in anything really; maybe look at going to the Classics again or ride GC in Grand Tours or help whoever is going to be the next guy coming through, but I just want to have a positive impact on the team,” said Thomas.
“I’m at that stage where I’m still hungry to perform but at the same time, I am happy to help the team. I want to try and help us push forward to get back to the very top of the sport.”
The motivation for the experienced Welshman was clear at the Giro d’Italia where he came so close to a second Grand Tour victory.
Team manager Rod Ellingworth was delighted with Thomas’ contract extension and clear about his crucial role in the team’s future if they are to develop their young talent into future Tour de France winners.
Ineos Grenadiers have gone eight Grand Tours without a victory, the largest drought since the team’s inception as Team Sky in 2010. Egan Bernal’s 2021 Giro d’Italia triumph is their most recent trip to the top step of a podium in one of the Grand Tours.
“We’re thrilled that Geraint’s decided to ride on for another two years as a Grenadier. ‘G’ is such an integral part of our team’s set-up and rider culture,” said Ellingworth.
“Not only has he won some of the biggest races in the world, but he’s also shown he’s a true champion off the bike, through the crucial role he plays across the wider team and with the younger riders.
“We know that his ambition is to race with the best and we saw this year just how close he came at the Giro d’Italia. He then had some bad luck at La Vuelta which ruled him out of the running but nevertheless fought through to finish with true grit and determination. It was classic G and was still inspiring to watch.
“The team’s ambition is to again stand on the top step of the Tour de France podium and Geraint is going to play an integral part in realising that goal as we bring through a crop of young and exciting talent at the Ineos Grenadiers.”
🗣️ “It just feels like home.”Watch as @GeraintThomas86 talks about his new contract, his future goals and what it means to be part of the Grenadiers.View the full video 📽️: https://t.co/q68Z1d1SVw pic.twitter.com/7Tu3eZSn2mOctober 23, 2023
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