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After a protracted period of negotiation with the team, which he has been with since 2010, Thomas penned a two-year deal to keep him in team colors through 2023. The team announced the extension of the relationship Monday.
The 35-year-old told BBC Sport Wales in October that the new contract was “pretty much done,” and he has been with the team at a training camp in Mallorca this December, but an official announcement did not come out until now.
“I’m still super motivated to work hard and train hard,” Thomas said. “That’s what I love doing. I still really enjoy riding my bike, pushing myself. When you can see the finish line of your professional sporting career, you want to make the most of it every day and make it all count.”
Thomas hopes to be able to return to the Tour de France in 2022 after a disappointing ride this year, as well as taking on the Ardennes classics.
“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, which I’ve never done properly. That’s exciting and new, and hopefully, then go on the Tour to play a big role there.
“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.”
Thomas’ biggest success with the team came in 2018 when he won the Tour de France, beating Tom Dumoulin and his teammate Chris Froome. He’s also won races such as Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Tour of the Alps, plus E3 Harelbeke, which he won before he made a full transition over to be GC contender for grand tours.
Though there have been some strong results this year, such as his overall win at the Tour de Romandie, and third overall plus a stage win at the Dauphiné, there have been some difficult moments in recent times for Thomas.
He was overlooked for the Tour de France in 2020 and crashed out of that year’s Giro d’Italia on stage 4. Meanwhile, he crashed early in this year’s Tour and abandoned at the Olympics road race after hitting the tarmac mid-race.
Despite the travails, Ineos Grenadiers deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth said he believes that Thomas had more to give.
“[Geraint Thomas] has been with us since the start. He’s won the biggest races, mentored younger riders, been a brilliant ambassador for the sport, and throughout, helped to inspire countless people to get on their bikes,” he said.
“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.”