ADELAIDE, Australia (VN) — Geraint Thomas will keep racing as long as he’s competitive and having fun.
The 2018 Tour de France winner is at a career crossroads in 2023.
His current deal with Ineos Grenadiers is up at the end of the season, and he must decide if he wants to stay in the game.
“I’m not ruling out doing another year because I’m still enjoying it and let’s face it, it’s not a bad life, is it?” Thomas said. “Why end things prematurely if I’m still enjoying it and still prepared to do it.”
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Thomas, who debuts his 2023 campaign at the Santos Tour Down Under, is putting the Giro d’Italia at the center of his season.
After hitting third overall at the 2022 Tour, Thomas wants to give the Giro and the pink jersey one more run.
In the meantime, he’s still enjoying the ride, and wants to make a decision soon about whether or not 2023 will be his last.
“The enjoyment is the main thing and you’re only really competitive when you enjoy it,” he told VeloNews and other journalists this week in Adelaide. “If I can keep making the sacrifices, why not?
“I would like to decide, say, by March. If it is my last season, I want to enjoy it and make the most of it. I also want to plan for the future.”
Talks are already underway with Ineos Grenadiers
Thomas, who is the only British-born Tour de France winner, said he likely won’t be racing the Tour this year, and said he doesn’t know if he will race another Tour in his career.
He’s opened conversations with team boss Rod Ellingworth, and hopes to make a decision about his future in the next few weeks.
“It depends if I re-sign. My contract is up this year. If I do the Tour this year depends on how the Giro goes,” he said. “It’s all up in the air to be honest.”
If he does race at least one more season — Thomas assured he would not be racing in 2026 — he will only race at Ineos Grenadiers.
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) January 17, 2023
Thomas is the only original rider from the 2010 squad at Team Sky who is still on the roster. Ben Swift is also from the 2010 team, but he left the team to race on UAE before returning.
“The team is keen for me to continue and would like me to. I wouldn’t really go anywhere else,” Thomas said. “It depends on how they see my role, the salary and what’s expected of me. As long as all those boxes are wicked for me and the team, I don’t see why it won’t happen.”
Thomas said the chance to race the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris is another reason to continue. A frustrating 2020 Games and the opportunity to end his career on his terms without injury is appealing.
“You’re lucky to retire on your own terms as a sports person. That’d be great,” he said. “Two more years does seem quite long.
“I need to sit down with my family and talk about it all. I certainly won’t be racing in 2026.”
When he finally retires, Thomas has already declared he’d like to try his hand at an Ironman as well as stay involved in the sport of cycling, but ruled out a sport director’s role.
Staying home and spending more time with his family is at the top of his retirement goals. Until then, he wants to keep pushing himself so long as he’s enjoying it.
“Physically everyone can race on,” Thomas said. “It’s if you lose the love for it or the pull of your family. It that’s greater, you stop. It’s an individual thing.”