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After much speculation and a lengthy negotiation period, 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has signed a new two-year deal with the Ineos-Grenadiers, the team he joined all the way back in 2010.
“I’m super excited about the last few years of my career with the team. It’s going to be fun – that’s the main thing. People keep asking me what my role will be and obviously I want to keep winning myself, but being a part of a winning team and having fun with some of my best mates is as important – and to do that I’ll need to be at my best,” he said in a team statement.
Thomas focused on track cycling in his early years but made the switch to road racing with Team Sky from 2010. Initially he focused on the classics with a memorable victory in the E3 Harelbeke to boast. The Welshman moved on to become a Grand Tour rider winning the Tour de France in 2018. He also won the overall in Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphiné and Tour de Romandie. He struggled after a crash in the Tour de France of this year.
“Obviously I had a tough end to 2021 but up until the crash at the Tour, I was in the best shape I’d been. I’m still very motivated to perform in the biggest races. I’ll probably look at doing the Ardennes Classics which I’ve never done properly. That’s exciting and new, and hopefully then go on the Tour to play a big role there.”
There is no shortage of Grand Tour hopefuls at Ineos with proven winners Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart but the 35-year-old Welshman is still an important piece on the Ineos-Grenadiers team.
“Geraint has been with us since the start. He’s won the biggest races, mentored younger riders and been a brilliant ambassador for the sport,” Rod Ellingworth added. “We know – and he knows – that there is still more to come. He is hungry for more success at the highest level. Next season is going to be a real fight. The competition is stronger than ever. We are going all in as a team and G is going to be a big part of that for us.”
Thomas completes a roster of 31 riders for 2022 with seven new signings: Luke Plapp, Ben Tulett, Ben Turner, Elia Viviani, Omar Fraile, Magnus Sheffield and Kim Heiduk.
“The team has evolved a lot over the past 12 years,” Thomas concluded. “The vibe at the Mallorca team camp compared to recent years feels different with lots of young, new guys and fresh faces. Everyone is excited about going forwards as a team, closer together. I want to play a key role in that.”