Britain’s Geraint Thomas says ending second on the Giro d’Italia remains to be “raw” however he’s concentrating on extra success later this season.
Thomas, who turned 37 on Thursday, led for a lot of the ultimate week.
But he misplaced first place to Primoz Roglic in a dramatic mountain time trial on Saturday’s penultimate stage.
After the Giro resulted in Rome, Thomas stated he would now give attention to the summer season’s World Championships in Glasgow and probably the Vuelta a Espana.
However, lacking out on a second Grand Tour title by simply 14 seconds was nonetheless hurting.
“Yeah, it’s still a little bit raw,” he informed BBC Sport. “But I’m still proud of getting into this shape after the year I’ve had. Getting on the podium is still a big achievement.”
Thomas had a “stop-start” winter as sickness interrupted his coaching and race programme.
After finishing the Tour Down Under in Australia in January, he managed solely two brief stage races earlier than the Giro d’Italia started in May.
He was not many individuals’s favorite for Giro glory however after the withdrawals of Remco Evenepoel (attributable to Covid) and Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart (after a crash left him with a damaged hip), the Welshman emerged as a number one contender.
As the race arrived on the Dolomites within the last week, Thomas re-took the chief’s pink jersey and established a bonus over each Roglic and Portugal’s Joao Almeida because the end line in Rome drew nearer.
But Roglic snatched victory from Thomas by 14 seconds after profitable Saturday’s time trial up Monte Lussari by 40 seconds. Remarkably, the Slovenian gained a junior ski leaping world title as a teen on the identical mountain.
Thomas admitted the messages he acquired that night had him “welling up”, however he was the primary to concede Roglic deserved the win.
“He just rode above and beyond,” Thomas stated. “So hats off to him.
“If it was a flat time trial it may need been completely different, however that is simply the way in which it’s in sport. It’s stuffed with ups and downs. The lows make the highs even higher.”
Thomas was reunited with his wife Sara and son Macs in Rome. Just like the Tour de France last summer, Macs joined his dad on the Grand Tour podium.
Moments earlier, Mark Cavendish had stood on the top step – celebrating his win in the final stage, a victory aided by Thomas, who led out his friend of more than 25 years in the sprint finish to help him cross the line first.
Cavendish, 38, is retiring at the end of the season. But after he rolled back the years once again in a Grand Tour, Thomas is looking at carrying on a little while longer.
“I’ve by no means considered my age,” said Thomas. “I nonetheless love using my bike, I nonetheless love coaching, I nonetheless love being with the boys – I feel that retains you younger mentally.
“I’m still competitive, I still love racing, I still love the argy-bargy of a sprint sometimes. So I’ll just keep doing it as long as I love it.
“I’ll attempt to type out my future [contract] within the subsequent couple of weeks. I’m positively not going to do greater than two years, I do not assume. But saying that I did say I would not go on after this 12 months.”
Disappointment in Italy has not dampened Thomas’ appetite for the rest of the season.
He will take a week off at home with his family in France. Then he will get back on his bike and start planning his next goals.
That will likely start with the British National Road Championships in June – with even bigger targets to follow.
“With the Worlds within the UK in August, they’re nonetheless a purpose and after that probably the Vuelta,” stated Thomas.
“I’ve solely carried out the Vuelta as soon as [in 2015]. That was a nasty expertise, so it might be fairly good to possibly return there.”
After crashing out of the Giro d’Italia in 2017 and 2020, Thomas always spoke of having “unfinished enterprise” in Italy.
Although he made it to the end – and on to the podium – that feeling is likely to remain.
Do not rule out seeing him going for the pink jersey once again before his career ends.
“I like racing in Italy,” Thomas said. “It’s one thing in regards to the followers, the roads, the environment is simply superb right here.
“The support this race was really humbling, really nice to feel, and I’ve just had an amazing time.
“I hope I’ll be again – by no means say by no means. As lengthy as I preserve racing, I do know I’ll need to come again.”