Welshman Geraint Thomas has hinted that the Giro D’Italia could be a possibility as the 30-year-old looked ahead to next season at the Action Medical Research Champions of Cyclesport dinner in London on Thursday evening.
Thomas enjoyed a solid 2016 season; in the early part of the season he clocked up impressive victories at the Volta ao Algarve and then he won Paris-Nice after defeating Alberto Contador. But his Tour de France campaign wasn’t as spectacular as the previous year as he finished well outside top ten.
But with next season approaching, the Welshman already has one eye on it, conceding that he could possibly ride the Giro next year, instead of the Tour.
It would certainly be a change in approach for Thomas, he would have to peak for May, instead of July, but with his qualities it is a race that could really suit the ever-improving Thomas.
He has proved over the past two years that he is a trusted and vitally important part of Team Sky, but with Mikel Landa also vying for that leadership role at the first Grand Tour of the year it is something the Sky hierarchy will have to think carefully about.
The coming season excites Thomas
Over the years Thomas has evolved into a genuine leader, and if given the chance he would be well capable of leading Sky in any of the three Grand Tours, and if Thomas fancies something new and different the Giro might be the perfect opportunity to show Sky just how capable he is at spearheading a Grand Tour push.
Speaking at the event in London on Thursday evening, the 30-year-old said: "Maybe I'll ride the Giro. There are so many options next year; it's exciting. I'm really looking forward to it."
If Thomas were to ride the Giro, Sky’s management will also have to consider Landa as well. The Spaniard is another rider that has all the qualities to become a good leader, even though his first season at Sky didn’t go accordingly to plan.
But with Thomas and Landa both looking at potential leadership at the Giro next year, it is certainly a nice problem for Sky to have ahead of the coming season.
Thomas still feels the Tour is better suited to him
Last year’s Tour certainly didn’t go as planned for Thomas, compared with the year before where he was so close to finishing on the podium, the 2016 Grand Boucle was a bit of a let-down.
But despite Thomas not finishing high up on the leaderboard he was still a vital part of Chris Froome making history, and speaking about the Tour, Thomas said: "The Tour suits me a bit better than any of the other ones because the climbs are a bit longer and not as steep, but obviously you have got a three-time winner in your team.”
It will be interesting to see how Thomas approaches next season; it obvious he is focussing his attentions on stage-racing rather than the one-day classics. But whether he will ride the Giro is something that cycling fans will have to wait for in anticipation.