Geraint Thomas has been enjoying an extended close season break after his exploits last year but with the 2017 season approaching the Welshman has to make a decision on where he feels his priorities lies this campaign.
The 30-year-old raced all over the place last season. In the early part he rode the Volta ao Algarve and won, he then beat Alberto Contador at Paris-Nice. A disappointing Tour de Suisse ride was then backed up by another solid showing in the Tour de France working in support of Chris Froome, who went on to win his third Grand Boucle.
But with his season starting in January this year at the Tour Down Under, the Welshman has to make a decision at what goals he wants to target for the upcoming season.
‘G’ still loves the Tour but the Giro and the Vuelta are ‘two good opportunities’
Thomas has been a staple part of Team Sky’s Tour bid in recent years; but after years working for Froome he feels the Giro D’Italia or the Vuelta a Espana could certainly be viable options.
Thomas has developed well over the years into a credible Grand Tour leader; he certainly has the potential to win one of the biggest Tours, and speaking about the Grand Boucle, the 30-year-old said: "I love riding the Tour and I love being in the team, especially when Froome wins, but I've done that three times now."
Thomas is at a stage in his career where he could well lead a team in his own right, and with the embarrassment of riches that Sky possess he could go to either the Giro or the Vuelta with a strong squad behind him.
“If I went to the Giro at 100 per cent it's a whole different ball game. I could start by riding for GC and if that didn't work then I could work for someone like Mikel Landa, but still ride for stages,” said Thomas as he keeps his options open about next season.
Because of Thomas’ all round talent, the Welshman is a man of all trades and in some cases that doesn’t help his cause. But Thomas has one eye on the future, and admits that he has to start focussing on one type of race, whether that be the Classics or the stage races.
"The idea of doing the Giro and the Vuelta would give me two good opportunities," he said.
The lure of the Classics is still strong for Thomas
Thomas has performed well in the Classics over the years; he won E3 Harelbeke in 2015 and has been consistent in all the other Classics.
Speaking about the Classics and the potential of riding them next season, Thomas said: "There's also the Classics, and I still love them. I'd hate to miss them.”
Thomas certainly has a big decision to make in the next couple of months. He is capable of challenging on a few fronts if his preparation is right, but if the Welshman feels his priorities lie in stage races then it will be exciting to see him take that next step of leading a team at one of the Grand Tours.