Geraint Thomas

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Geraint Thomas
Roubaix - Paris-Roubaix, le 13 avril 2014 (B30).JPG
Thomas at the 2014 Paris-Roubaix
Personal information
Full name Geraint Howell Thomas
Nickname G
Born (1986-05-25) 25 May 1986 (age 28)
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight 70 kg (150 lb; 11 st)[1]
Team information
Current team Team Sky
Discipline Road and track
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder (road)
Pursuitist (track)
Amateur team(s)


2005
2006
Maindy Flyers/CC Cardiff
Cardiff JIF
Team Wiesenhof-Felt (stagiaire)
Saunier Duval-Prodir (stagiaire)
Professional team(s)
2006
2007–2009
2010–
Recycling.co.uk
Barloworld
Team Sky
Major wins

Stage races

Flèche du Sud (2006)
Bayern-Rundfahrt (2011, 2014)

One-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championships (2010)
Infobox last updated on
31 July 2014

Geraint Howell Thomas, MBE (born 25 May 1986) is a Welsh professional racing cyclist who rides for the UCI ProTeam Team Sky[2] and Great Britain.

A track cycling world champion and Olympic gold medalist in the team pursuit, Thomas has also enjoyed success on the road, winning the 2004 Junior Paris–Roubaix, the 2010 British National Road Race Championships and the 2011 and 2014 Bayern-Rundfahrt.

Early life[edit]

Thomas, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, attended Whitchurch High School. He began cycling with the Maindy Flyers Cycling Club at Maindy Stadium at the age of 10,[3] before going on to ride for other local clubs, Cycling Club Cardiff and Cardiff Just in Front. Following some successes in under 14 and under 16 events, including National Championships, but it was not until he won a silver medal in the points race at the European Championships that he started to realise his potential.[4]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Thomas became a member of British Cycling's Olympic Academy. He won the Carwyn James Junior Award at the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. Thomas competed at World Cup events around the world, and was training in Sydney, Australia, in February 2005 when he crashed after the rider in front of him hit a piece of metal in the road which was flicked up into Thomas' wheel. He suffered internal bleeding after the piece of metal entered his body during the fall, he ruptured his spleen which subsequently had to be removed.[5][6]

He rode most of his races of 2006 for Recycling.co.uk, but towards the end of 2006 joined Saunier Duval-Prodir as a stagiaire. He also rode a few races, such as the Tour of Britain, for the Great Britain squad.

2007[edit]

Thomas during the first stage of the 2007 Tour de France

Thomas was the youngest rider in the 2007 Tour de France as Team Barloworld picked up one of the three wildcard spots allocated for the race. He became the first Welsh rider to compete in the race since Colin Lewis in 1967,[7] Thomas received great support from Welsh fans at the opening of the race, with several following the entire race.[8] He completed his first Tour de France, finishing 140th of 141 finishers.[9]

He was nominated for the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 2007, the winners were announced on 2 December, Thomas was third in the public vote.[10]

2008[edit]

Thomas did not compete in the 2008 Tour de France, instead, he rode the 2008 Giro d'Italia earlier in the season before returning to Britain to concentrate on preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[11] On discovering that the flags of non-participating nations would not be allowed at the Games, Thomas said: "It would be great to do a lap of honour draped in the Welsh flag if I win a gold medal, and I'm very disappointed if this rule means that would not be possible."[12][13]

On 17 August Thomas was a member of the Olympic team pursuit squad which broke the world record in the heats with a time of 3:55.202, beating their Russian opponents comfortably to go through to the final ride-off for silver and gold.[14] The following day, on their way to winning the gold medal, the British Team pursuit broke their own world record in a time of 3:53.314, beating their Danish competitors by 6.7 seconds.[15] Thomas had been a possible contender in the individual pursuit, but opted not to ride both events as he did not want to compromise the efforts of his team. He had also been considered to compete in the Madison with Bradley Wiggins but it was Mark Cavendish who was selected to do so; Chris Boardman stated that "Geraint keeps surpassing people's expectations".[16]

Following the disqualification of fellow Barloworld team mate, Moises Duenas, from the Tour de France, Thomas expressed his strong anti-doping opinions on his blog on the BBC 6-0-6 website: "..if someone is fraudulent in a business, wouldn’t they be facing a prison term? I don’t see how riders taking drugs to win races and lying to their teams is any different. Bang them up and throw away the key!"[17]

In December, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[18]

2009[edit]

Thomas suffered a bad start to his 2009 season when he broke his pelvis and fractured his nose in a fall; he crashed into a safety barrier having misjudged a turn in the time trial stage of the Tirreno–Adriatico in Macerata, Italy. The crash came shortly after an 8 km time check showed he was second fastest on the road. Although he was able to return to his team hotel from hospital the same day, a period of 20 days complete rest was required before he would be able to resume training.[19][20]

On 30 October 2009, Thomas set the fastest pursuit time under current rules, at the time, when he completed 4 kilometres in 4:15.105 at the first round of the 2009–2010 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics at Manchester Velodrome. Thomas' time was only surpassed by Chris Boardman, 4:11.114, set in 1996 on a bicycle position that has since been banned.[21] On 1 November, on the last day of this World Cup round, Thomas was a member of the team pursuit squad which set the second-fastest time ever on their way to the gold medal, setting a new track record of 3 minutes 54.395 seconds in the process.

Thomas was runner-up to Ryan Giggs in the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 2009; the winners were announced on 8 December.[22] He left Barloworld at the end of 2009 to join new British team, Team Sky.[21]

2010[edit]

Thomas began 2010 as part of the team time trial winning team for Sky at the 2010 Tour of Qatar. After competing in the classics, he impressed at the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing in the top ten in each of the opening four stages. As a result of these finishes, he was the leader in green jersey competition for stages two and four and six. He finished fifth in the green jersey competition overall, and twenty-first in the general classification.

Thomas at the 2010 Tour de France, wearing the white jersey of the young rider classification leader

Thomas beat team mate Peter Kennaugh to win the 2010 British National Road Race Championship. His good form continued into the 2010 Tour de France, in which he finished fifth in the Prologue and second on stage three. This led to him leading the young riders classification after stage three. Thomas finished 67th overall in the Tour, and ninth in the Young Riders Classification.

Thomas had been due to travel to Delhi, India in September to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but pulled out, as did several other cyclists, due to health concerns. Dengue Fever was one specific concern cited. Illness was especially a risk for Thomas following the removal of his spleen in 2005. Following the decision, Thomas said "It's a massive disappointment, I only get to ride for Wales once every four years, but that's the decision I had to make."[23]

2011[edit]

Thomas started the year with some promising performances, finishing sixth in the Classica Sarda and second overall in the Dwars door Vlaanderen.[24] Thomas claimed his first professional victory in May 2011 by winning the five-day 2011 Bayern-Rundfahrt race,[25] after finishing second on stage 3 and fifth on stage 4. On 26 June 2011, Thomas finished second to Bradley Wiggins in the British National Road Race Championships.[26]

At the 2011 Tour de France, Thomas finished sixth on the opening stage to take the white jersey.[27] He retained the jersey the following day, as Sky finished third in the team time trial.[28] Thomas lost the white jersey to Robert Gesink on stage 7, as team leader Bradley Wiggins crashed out of the Tour, and the remaining Sky riders lost time after waiting for him.[29] Thomas won the combativity award on the 212 km stage 12, following an aggressive breakaway 2 km into the first Pyrenean stage, that saw him lose control twice on the descent of the Hourquette d’Ancizan.[30] He finished 36th on the stage after being caught by the general classification leaders with 7 km to go on the final climb of the day, and rose to 25th overall.[30][31] Thomas signed a new three year contract with Sky after stage 16.[32] He finished 31st overall in the Tour.[33]

Thomas had a successful 2011 Tour of Britain, winning the points classification, having been highly placed in the overall standings before a crash. He was part of the Great Britain team for the road race at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships, and helped lead out Mark Cavendish to victory.

2012[edit]

Thomas at the 2012 Tour de Romandie, wearing the leader's jersey after winning the prologue.

Thomas focused on track cycling for the 2012 season, competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.[34] As such, the 2012 Giro d'Italia was his road race priority, before turning his focus to the track.[35] In March, Thomas did ride 2012 Paris-Nice, where he helped Bradley Wiggins take overall victory.[36] On 4 April Thomas was a member of the British team pursuit team that won gold the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, with a new world record of 3:53.295 seconds.[37] He also teamed up with Ben Swift to take the silver medal in the madison.[38] Thomas then returned to the road, winning the prologue of the 2012 Tour de Romandie.[39]

Thomas finished second behind Taylor Phinney in the opening time trial of the Giro d'Italia.[40] Thomas acted as lead out man to Mark Cavendish in the race, helping him to three stage victories.[41] Thomas also finished second to Marco Pinotti in the final stage time trial in Milan.[42]

Thomas was selected in the team pursuit team for the Olympics, along with Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Peter Kennaugh. On 2 August the quartet set a new world record of 3:52.499 in the first heat of the event.[43] The team set the fastest time in the first round, setting up a final with Australia to decide the gold medal winners. In the final, the British team set another world record of 3:51.659, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of the Australians, with Thomas retaining his gold medal in the event.[44]

2013[edit]

Thomas (right) with team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen at the 2013 People's Choice Classic

Thomas began the 2013 season at the 2013 Tour Down Under. He won Stage 2 after attacking on the Corkscrew Climb, and outsprinting three riders that had joined him on the descent. Thomas held the race lead until the penultimate stage, where he cracked on Old Willunga Hill and dropped to fifth overall. However, he fought back on the final stage in Adelaide, taking enough bonus seconds to rise to third place overall, 25 seconds behind Dutch rider Tom-Jelte Slagter, and won the sprints classification.[45]

Thomas was given a leadership role in Sky's Classics campaign. His best results were a couple of fourth places in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke, as he crashed out of contention in Milan – San Remo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. After a break, Thomas returned to action at Bayern-Rundfahrt, where he finished second overall. He showed excellent climbing form at the Critérium du Dauphiné, helping Chris Froome and Richie Porte secure a 1–2 overall finish, whilst also placing 15th overall himself.

He was selected to ride the 2013 Tour de France, but crashed heavily on the opening stage. Thomas started the next stage but struggled, finishing second last and after returning to hospital was found to have a fractured pelvis. Despite his injury, Thomas continued, and managed to finish the Tour in 140th place, helping Froome take overall victory [46]

2014[edit]

Thomas following an attack by Tom Boonen at the 2014 Paris Roubaix

Thomas once again started the season at the Tour Down Under, this time riding in support of Richie Porte, and finishing eighth overall. Thomas was again scheduled to support Porte at Paris–Nice, but an injury to Froome meant that Porte was switched to Tirreno–Adriatico, leaving Thomas to lead the squad in France. Thomas performed strongly, finishing second to Garmin-Sharp's Tom-Jelte Slagter on the fourth stage, to take the leader's yellow jersey, before dropping to second behind Carlos Betancur on the sixth stage. The next day however, Thomas crashed on a descent 5 km (3.1 mi) from the finish; although he would complete the stage some seven minutes in arrears, Thomas did not start the final stage. Thomas recovered to take his good form into the Classics season, finishing third in E3 Harelbeke. He led Team Sky at the Tour of Flanders and managed an eighth place finish, 37 seconds behind the winning rider, Fabian Cancellara, having had to chase back after being dropped on the Taaienberg climb. Thomas also secured a hard-fought seventh position in Paris–Roubaix, finishing as part of a group twenty seconds behind solo winner Niki Terpstra.

In the 2014 Tour de France, Thomas acted as a domestique to Sky team-mate Richie Porte, following the withdrawal of his compatriot Chris Froome on stage five. Porte soon fell down the overall standings after suffering badly on stage thirteen to Chamrousse. Thomas was then given the freedom to go for stage wins and appeared in a number of breakaways. Thomas was the only Briton to finish the race, placing 22nd overall, his best ever result in the Tour de France.

Thomas in the Time Trial at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he took the bronze medal

Thomas represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 2014. He won bronze in the individual time trial behind Alex Dowsett of England and Rohan Dennis of Australia. Thomas won gold in the road race after attacking Scott Thwaites and Jack Bauer on the final lap of the Glasgow City Centre circuit, and built up a large enough gap to survive a scare when he had to change a wheel in the closing stages.[47]

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

2004
1st Junior Paris–Roubaix
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Scratch Race, Junior World Track Championships
2005
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG Scratch Race, National Track Championships
2006
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Flèche du Sud
1st Points classification
1st Under-21 classification
1st Stage 2
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Points Race, Commonwealth Games
3rd National Road Race Championships
2007
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Team pursuit, World Track Championships
2008
1st Gold medal.svg Team pursuit, Olympic Games
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Team pursuit, World Track Championships
1st Smithfield Nocturne
2009
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG Individual pursuit, National Track Championships
5th Coppa Bernocchi
6th Overall Tour of Britain
2010
1st MaillotReinoUnido.PNG National Road Race Championships
1st Stage 1 (TTT) Tour of Qatar
3rd National Time Trial Championships
Tour de France
Held Jersey white.svg Young Riders Jersey from Stages 3–6
2011
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
2nd National Road Race Championships
2nd Dwars door Vlaanderen
6th Classica Sarda
10th Tour of Flanders
Tour de France
Held Jersey white.svg Young Riders Jersey from Stages 1–7
Jersey red number.svg Combativity award Stage 12
1st Jersey blue.svg Points classification Tour of Britain
2012
1st Gold medal.svg Team pursuit, Olympic Games
World Track Championships
1st Jersey rainbow.svg Team pursuit
2nd Madison (with Ben Swift)
1st Prologue Tour de Romandie
2013
2nd Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
3rd Overall Tour Down Under
1st Stage 2
1st Jersey blue.svg Sprints classification
Most aggressive rider award, Stage 6
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Team time trial, Road World Championships
4th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
4th E3 Harelbeke
10th Overall Tour of Qatar
2014
1st Gold medal blank.svg Road race, 2014 Commonwealth Games
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
1st Stage 4 (ITT)
2nd National Time Trial Championships[48]
3rd E3 Harelbeke
3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Time trial, 2014 Commonwealth Games
6th Overall Eneco Tour[49]
7th Paris–Roubaix
8th Overall Tour Down Under
8th Tour of Flanders

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Pink jersey Giro d'Italia 118 80
Yellow jersey Tour de France 140 67 31 140 22
red jersey Vuelta a España

World records[edit]

Discipline Time Date Event Velodrome Notes
Team pursuit 3:53.314 18 August 2008 Olympic Games Laoshan
3:53.295 4 April 2012 World Championships Hisense Arena
3:52.499 2 August 2012 Olympic Games London
3:51.659 3 August 2012

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Geraint Thomas profile". Team Sky. BSkyB. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Sky Procycling (SKY) – GBR". UCI World Tour (Union Cycliste Internationale). Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "An interview with Geraint Thomas". cyclingnews.com. 5 July 2007. 
  4. ^ "In the zone: Geraint Thomas". BBC Sport. 
  5. ^ Larry Hickmott (27 March 2005). "Geraint Thomas Recovering from Aussie Crash". British Cycling. 
  6. ^ "Thomas in hospital after crashing". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 February 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Thomas backed for Beijing glory". BBC Sport (BBC). 5 December 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Ian Jenkins (17 July 2007). "Maindy Flyers 'On Tour'!". Welsh Cycling. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "2007 Tour de France, Overall Standing". Le Tour de France. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Calzaghe claims BBC Wales award". BBC Sport (BBC). 2 December 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "THE BIG INTERVIEW: GERAINT THOMAS". Cycling Weekly. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Gordon Rayner (6 August 2008). "Beijing Olympics: Flags showing Cross of St George, Saltire or Welsh dragon banned". The Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group Limited). 
  13. ^ Martin Shipton (5 August 2008). "Olympic officials ban Welsh athletes from flying national flag". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "GB pursuit team set world record". BBC Sport (BBC). 17 August 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "GB storm to gold in team pursuit". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 August 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Thomas & Cavendish fight for spot". BBC Sport (BBC). 25 July 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Motivation is high despite Tour dopers". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 23. 31 December 2008.
  19. ^ "Latest Cycling News: Broken bones for Thomas". Cycling News. 16 March 2009. 
  20. ^ "44th Tirreno-Adriatico – Stage 4 & 5 Comnments & Photos". Daily Peloton. 15 March 2009. 
  21. ^ a b William Fotheringham (31 October 2009). "Geraint Thomas sets second fastest individual pursuit time in history". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Ryan Giggs wins BBC Wales Sports Personality 2009". BBC Sport (BBC). 8 December 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Geraint Thomas pulls out of Commonwealth Games in Delhi". BBC Sport (BBC). 24 September 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "Pro Cycling | Team | Geraint Thomas". Team Sky. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Thomas seals victory in Bavaria". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "Wiggins Wins National RR Champs". British Cycling. 26 June 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  27. ^ Jane Aubrey (3 July 2011). "Thomas' white jersey could soon be yellow heading into TTT". Cycling News. IPC Media Limited. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  28. ^ "Sky's Tour de France start a contrast to 2010, says Wiggins". Cycling News. IPC Media Limited. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  29. ^ "Tour de France: Wiggins crashes out, Cavendish wins stage". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "Geraint Thomas in the thick of the Tour de France action". South Wales Echo. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  31. ^ "2011 Tour de France results, stage 12". Velo News. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  32. ^ Fanning, Evan (19 July 2011). "Geraint Thomas signs new three-year contract with Team Sky". The Guardian (London). 
  33. ^ Will Irwin. "Boardman: it's decision time for Geraint Thomas | Latest News". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  34. ^ Thomas, Graham (7 October 2011). "Geraint Thomas considers quitting track after London Olympics". BBC Wales Sport. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  35. ^ Callow, James (24 October 2011). "Geraint Thomas to skip Tour de France in bid for Olympic gold". The Guardian (London). 
  36. ^ Howell, Andy (5 March 2012). "Geraint Thomas helps Bradley Wiggins claim Paris-Nice yellow jersey". WalesOnline. Media Wales. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  37. ^ Richardson, Simon (4 April 2012). "Great Britain break team pursuit world record to win gold". Cycling Weekly. IPC Media Limited. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  38. ^ "Belgians win world Madison crown". SBS Cycling Central. SBS. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  39. ^ "Tour de Romandie: Geraint Thomas wins on opening day". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  40. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (5 May 2012). "Taylor Phinney romps to victory in opening time-trial ahead of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas". The Guardian. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  41. ^ Brown, Gregor. "Cavendish's Sky lead-out still on learning curve". Cycling Weekly. Cervere, Italy: IPC Media Limited. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  42. ^ "Giro d'Italia 2012: Ryder Hesjedal is first Canadian to win the race". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  43. ^ "Track cycling: GB men set team pursuit world record". BBC Sport. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  44. ^ Bevan, Chris (3 August 2012). "Olympics cycling: Team GB defend men's pursuit title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  45. ^ "Tour Down Under: Geraint Thomas finishes third". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  46. ^ "Tour de France 2013: stage 21 results". guardian.co.uk. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  47. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/aug/03/geraint-thomas-commonwealth-games-cycling-gold-wales
  48. ^ Griffiths, Gareth (27 June 2014). "National Championships 2014: Sir Bradley Wiggins wins British time trial title at Celtic Manor ahead of Team Sky colleague Geraint Thomas". WalesOnline. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  49. ^ Benson, Daniel (17 August 2014). "Wellens wins the Eneco Tour". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kristian House
British National Road Race Championships
2010
Succeeded by
Bradley Wiggins