Cycling-After Rio heartache, Thomas seeks road to gold in Tokyo

Cycling – Tour de France – Stage 20 – Libourne to Saint-Emilion – France – July 17, 2021 Ineos Grenadiers rider Geraint Thomas of Britain in action for the length of stage 20 REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) – Geraint Thomas has completed moderately worthy every thing in his illustrious profession with a Tour de France title, rainbow jerseys and two Olympic track gold medals in his locker.

But the Welshman desires a predominant Olympic road medal and may per chance perchance secure two prospects in the next week, first in Saturday’s road race, alternatively next Wednesday in the time trial.

The 35-yr-gentle turned into vying for gold in the road race in Rio five years in the past nonetheless crashed proper into a ditch on a treacherous excessive-race descent with 10km final, in a roundabout plot ending 11th.

Thomas is rarely any stranger to crashes and dislocated his shoulder in this yr’s Tour de France nonetheless persevered on to invent 42nd.

He hopes his wonderful fortune may per chance perchance additionally exchange this yr on what is a bold route on the flanks of Mount Fuji.

“I turned into there in the combo in Rio and then sadly crashed on the final nook of the descent and that set me out of it,” Thomas, who additionally took part in the time trial in Rio, told reporters. “Confidently it is third time lucky.

“I construct no longer lose sleep over it now nonetheless it is restful a form of issues where it turned into there for the taking almost. A huge alternative. But that is the model it goes.

“(Psychologist) Steve Peters turned into repeatedly telling me, life is no longer wonderful-looking out, you construct no longer repeatedly secure what you deserve at that 2d. It proper took location and it turned into sizable worrying. Clearly I’d be pleased to position that upright here on Saturday.”

The 234-km route featuring 4,800m of ascent is no longer going to intimidate 2018 Tour de France winner Thomas.

And with 2020 Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and 2018 Vuelta de Espana winner Simon Yates and his twin brother Adam for firm, Thomas has a team to envy in his gold-medal notify.

“If we race properly as a team, now we possess a huge alternative here,” Thomas talked about. “Four in actuality correct prospects of a medal.

“As long as we keep up a correspondence properly and race properly, we shall be in with an alternate.”

Whereas having four riders every able to taking the gold medal appears to be a private for the British contingent, it may per chance per chance additionally pose a controversy thru hierarchy.

Veritably a nation can possess one, presumably two, major riders with others working selflessly for the reason.

But Thomas doesn’t secret agent that as being a complication.

“We possess all had quite of totally different prep, nonetheless once we secure available in the market the predominant component is there are no egos,” he talked about. “We keep up a correspondence with every other, now we possess our design, and try to invent it as easiest as we can.

“With so diminutive teams, with so dinky preserve a watch on, so much can happen, so much can walk upright, so much can walk rotten. Gorgeous secure available in the market and invent our easiest.”

Thomas won team pursuit gold on the track in Beijing and London sooner than switching his heart of attention to the road.

The Olympics remains a huge motivator, nonetheless, although this yr’s edition in Tokyo has been especially complicated by a transient turnaround time after the Tour and by the COVID-19 restrictions in location in Japan.

“I keep in mind looking out at Barcelona 1992 mesmerised at dwelling with my mom and dad,” he talked about. “So that you can state my nation is a colossal honour, and I proper are looking out for to invent the most life like possible I’m able to and confidently clutch a medal, clutch a gold. But it completely’s much less difficult talked about than done, is no longer in actuality it?”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Modifying by Hugh Lawson

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Principles.

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