Geraint Thomas says he didn’t want to ride the 2020 Tour de France in support of another rider.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider was initially expected to head to the Tour as joint leader with reigning champion Egan Bernal, before the team made the surprising announcement that Thomas would not be racing.
Instead, the 2018 Tour winner is currently racing in Italy at Tirreno-Adriatico and will be leading a squad at the Giro d’Italia in October.
Offering his thoughts on not riding the Tour, Thomas told Cycling News: “I didn’t feel 100 per cent and I didn’t want to go to the Tour in a different role.
“I’m at an age when I want to use all the opportunities I can.”
Thomas admitted he wasn’t at full fitness for the Tour and said that the Giro d’Italia route, which includes three time trials, suits him.
The Welshman looked to be a strong choice for Ineos to ride the Tour de France, either in support of Egan Bernal or as co-leader.
But he appeared to struggle through the Critérium du Dauphiné just before the Tour, with the team later announcing that Thomas would ride the Giro instead.
He is currently preparing at Tirreno-Adriatico, where he has safely made it through the first two sprint stages.
On his current form, the 34-year-old said: “Coming into the race I had three super-easy days to really just recover and come in fresh after a good block of training so yeah.
“I just felt a little blocked but that’s only normal really. That’s how I normally feel after some easy days, but it’s nice to be back in the groove now with the boys and after a couple of stages you kind of find that rhythm again.”
He added “Obviously, it’s been quite a while since I’ve done a bunch sprints so that you know trying to stay out of trouble. not like you need reminding but just getting used to that stress again, but our boys ride really well.”