'I'm still super motivated' - Thomas signs two-year extension with INEOS Grenadiers

By Sports Desk December 20, 2021

Geraint Thomas has committed his future to the INEOS Grenadiers after signing a new two-year deal, claiming he is "still super motivated".

The 35-year-old will now remain with the team until 2024, having joined when it was formed in 2010.

The Welshman insists that his passion for the sport has not wavered and reveals that he intends to make the most of the time he has left in his professional career.

"I'm still super motivated to work hard and train hard," Thomas said to the INEOS Grenadiers official website. "That's what I love doing. I still really enjoy riding my bike, pushing myself.

"When you can see the finish line of your professional sporting career, you want to make the most of it every day and make it all count."

Despite a difficult end to the last season, Thomas is looking forward to competing and believes he can still hold his own at the highest level.

"Obviously I had a tough end to 2021 but up until the crash at the Tour, I was in the best shape I’d been," Thomas continued. "I'm still very motivated to perform in the biggest races.

"I'll probably look at doing the Ardennes which I've never done properly. That's exciting and new, and hopefully, then go on the Tour to play a big role there.

"I'm super excited about the last few years of my career with the team. It's going to be fun - that’s the main thing.

"People keep asking me what my role will be and obviously I want to keep winning myself, but being a part of a winning team and having fun with some of my best mates is as important - ​​and to do that I'll need to be at my best."

Related items

  • Giro d'Italia: Hindley poised to claim maiden Grand Tour title after Carapaz cracks Giro d'Italia: Hindley poised to claim maiden Grand Tour title after Carapaz cracks

    Jai Hindley vowed to "die for" the maglia rosa in the final stage after he surged away from Richard Carapaz to lead the Giro d'Italia by a minute and 25 seconds on Saturday.

    Alessandro Covi went solo to win a brutal stage 20 on the Passo Fedaia in his homeland, and there was huge drama behind the UAE Team Emirates rider.

    Carapaz came into the penultimate stage with a three-second lead over Hindley, but his hopes of winning the prestigious race for a second time were surely dashed on a lung-busting final climb.

    The INEOS Grenadiers rider cracked just under two kilometres from the end of the 168km route from Belluno, and Hindley capitalised to take the maglia rosa in the Dolomites.

    Hindley is poised to become the first Australian winner of the Giro after he had plenty in the tank while Carapaz was suffering, finishing sixth having been given great support by BORA-Hansgrohe team-mate Lennard Kamna.

    Kamna had been among a breakaway group but dropped back to assist Hindley on what looks set to be the decisive day of the race, which saw Koen Bouwman crowned the King of the Mountains.

    The 2019 champion Carapaz crossed the line in 11th on a painful day for the Ecuadorian, with Mikel Landa remaining third in the general classification after finishing ninth.

    With only a 17.4km time trial to come in Verona on Sunday, Hindley is ready to make history

    He told Eurosport: "I knew this was going to be the crucial stage of the race, I knew it was a brutal finish and if you had the legs you can make a difference.

    "It was perfect with Lennard up the road in the breakaway, and he couldn't have timed it better to drop back in help. When I knew Carapaz had cracked, I just went all out."

    Asked if that should be mission accomplished, Hindley replied: "We'll see how it goes, it's always hard to say how a time trial will go on the last day of a three-week race. I'll die for the jersey."

    Deja vu but surely no denying Hindley this time around 

    Hindley was wearing the maglia rosa at the start of the final stage two years ago but finished second behind Tao Geoghegan Hart.

    It was a different story in 2020, though, as the 26-year-old did not have a time advantage to play with.

    Hindley was a man on a mission on Saturday, and he will surely not be denied a maiden Grand Tour title this weekend.

    It was also a day to remember for Covi, who secured a maiden Grand Tour stage win, finishing 32 seconds before Domen Novak.

    STAGE RESULT 

    1. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) 4:46:34
    2. Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious) +0:32
    3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:37
    4. Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) +1:36
    5. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) +1:50

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) 86:07:19
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:25
    3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:51

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 254
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 136
    3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 132

    King of the Mountains

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 294
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 163
    3. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) 102

  • Giro d'Italia: Bouwman claims dramatic stage 19 as Carapaz retains pink jersey lead Giro d'Italia: Bouwman claims dramatic stage 19 as Carapaz retains pink jersey lead

    Koen Bouwman claimed his second victory of the Giro d'Italia on stage 19, while Richard Carapaz maintained his three-second general classification lead on Friday.

    Jumbo Visma's Bouwman profited from a dramatic uphill finish at Santuario Di Castelmonte following a day-long five-man breakaway across the 178-kilometre race, which included a brief visit to Slovenia.

    The Dutchman, who also leads the King of the Mountains classification, watched a last-corner mistake from Mauro Schmid (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) forced Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen) off the road.

    Bouwman surged through to win as Schmid recovered to take second, with Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) taking third and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) finishing ahead of a furious Vendrame.

    However, Schmid was quick to question the last-corner problems with Bouwman and Vendrame.

    "My opinion it was not a fair sprint, it was pretty clear, my handlebars are still in front and he nearly crashed in the last corner, he just knows he's slower in the sprint and he just pushed me away. You'll see when you watch the last 100-200 metres. I can do nothing," he told reporters.

    "It was not fair in my opinion. Second place is first loser, so I'm not happy with that. I think I had it in the legs today. Of course, I'm disappointed but I want to say thanks to the team."

    Bouwman, though, offered a different version of events to Schmid as he added: "I knew there was a corner to the left but I didn't know it was this sharp. I had to brake quite hard and I knew I had to take the inside [of the corner].

    "After my first victory I said it would be really nice if I could have another one, but I also said I have to be realistic. It was my first victory as a pro. Now to win two stages in the Giro – I'm just so happy I don't have words.

    Meanwhile, Carapaz finished eighth on the same time as Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) as the general classification battle continues.

    Carapaz loses key team-mate Porte

    Ineos Grenadiers' Richie Porte was forced to abandon the Giro at stage 19 due to illness, leaving Carapaz without a key supporter for the final two summits of the race.

    Porte will be disappointed to finish his 13-year Grand Tour career in such fashion, having announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, and Carapaz was frustrated to lose his team-mate.

    "Truth is, it's been a really difficult day today. I'm really disappointed for Richie it's unlucky," he told reporters.

    "But the team is doing a good job and we're dealing with everything the best we can. We're all at a good level and trying to make it into a positive.

    "It was a little give and take today but I think we're all pretty much on the same level at the top. It wasn't such a fantastically difficult finale that it was going to break up very much."

    STAGE RESULT 

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo Visma) 4:32:55
    2. Mauro Schmid (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) same time 
    3. Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) same time
    4. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) same time
    5. Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 81:18:12
    2. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:03
    3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 254
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 136
    3. Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) 132

    King of the Mountains

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 294
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 103
    3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 94

  • Giro d'Italia: De Bondt wins stage 18, relief for Hindley after late puncture Giro d'Italia: De Bondt wins stage 18, relief for Hindley after late puncture

    Dries De Bondt sprinted to victory on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, as Jai Hindley remained three seconds adrift of race leader Richard Carapaz despite a late puncture.

    It was De Bondt among a breakaway quartet who had the pace to take his maiden victory in a Grand Tour race in Treviso on Thursday.

    The Alpecin-Fenix rider pipped Edoardo Affini, with Magnus Cort Nielsen third and Davide Gabburo just missing out on a podium at the end of a 156-kilometre route from Borgo Valsugana.

    That group of four riders made an early move and there was no catching them on a day Belgian De Bondt will never forget.

    The 30-year-old's win was his first since crossing the line first in the Belgian National Road Championships in September 2020.

    There was drama when Hindley suffered a puncture, but the BORA-Hansgrohe rider did not lose time in the general classification battle as the mechanical issue came within three kilometres of the finish.

    Carapaz finished 20 seconds after De Bondt as he retained the maglia rosa, with Mikel Landa staying in third place behind Hindley.

    "I checked Landa and Hindley all the time as I knew there could be some gaps. I want to keep the maglia rosa till the end, I trust in my legs." INEOS Grenadiers rider Carapaz said.

    Almeida ruled out after positive COVID-19 test

    Joao Almeida was fourth in the GC standings, but the Portuguese rider's race is over after he tested positive for COVID-19 following stage 17.

    UAE Team Emirates team principal Mauro Gianetti said: "We are obviously deeply upset because Joao and the supporting team were doing an excellent race.

    "Our goals were the podium of the Giro and the white jersey as best young rider, and we were fighting to win them both.

    "It is bad news, but this is the reality we have been living every day for two years. We have to accept it and look forward. Now the most important thing is that Joao recovers as soon as possible."

    STAGE RESULT 

    1. Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) 3:21:21
    2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) same time
    3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-EasyPost) same time
    4. Davide Gabburo (Bardiani CSF Faizane) same time
    5. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) +0:14

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 76:41:21
    2. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +0:03
    3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 254
    2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 132
    3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 124

    King of the Mountains

    1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 218
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 103
    3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 94

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.