Road

Geraint Thomas’ return to racing goes through Zwift and the Critérium du Dauphiné

Riding back into the 2020 racing restart, the 2018 Tour champ remains circumspect about his future at a team loaded with so many grand tour winners.

Welshman Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) has just five days of racing in 2020, and like many other pros in similar circumstances, is looking to get his legs back into racing form when the season restarts after a four-month pause.

The 2018 Tour de France champion will ride through two more stages of the Zwift Virtual Tour de France before heading to the La Route d’Occitanie (August 1-4) with defending Tour champion teammate Egan Bernal.

Following the August 1 racing restart, Thomas may take on the Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9), and then the Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16).

Over the early part of the coronavirus lockdown, Thomas spent nearly two months at home in Cardiff, United Kingdom, maintaining fitness on the roads, and on the trainer.

Thomas said of his Zwift experience, “It’s not the real thing, but it is very realistic. The Zwift races have definitely helped me get more out of myself, because you’re racing against your teammates online. Even if you’re not that up for it to start with, as soon as you get going, that competitiveness comes out anyway and you all end up racing hard, so they’re definitely a good workout.”

While not under the spotlight recently cast on team rivalries between Chris Froome and Egan Bernal, Thomas realizes his competitive career is not without a finite timeline, and he wants to make the most of his time racing.

“I’m getting on a bit now, I’ve got maybe three, four, five years left so I just want to make the most of those years and race my bike and enjoy it. It was tough going but there’s a lot of people who are in worse off positions than us,” Thomas said to reporters Wednesday.

Thomas rode as Chris Froome’s first lieutenant through three of Froome’s four Tour victories, and again for Bernal in 2019. Only in 2018 was he the team’s protected rider, with both Bernal and Froome towing him toward the top step in Paris.