After missing out on the pink jersey by just 14 seconds last year, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) has confirmed that he is going to take another crack at the Giro d’Italia this season before heading to the Tour de France.
The 37-year-old Welshman, who won the 2018 Tour and took runner-up honors at the Giro behind Primož Roglič last year, provided some insight into his 2024 plans on Wednesday in a Q&A on Instagram with Matt Stephens.
“I really wanted to go back to the Giro after last year to give it another big go,” Thomas said. “And obviously the Tour, I didn’t like missing it last year, so I’m going to try and stay on it and go into the Tour and try to get the best result there, go into it in the best shape.”
Thomas’s second straight tilt at the Giro will see him square off against a different Slovenian star this time, as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has confirmed his intentions of making his debut at the race in May. Like Pogačar, Thomas is also planning to ride the Tour de France after his three-week sojourn in Italy, and Thomas acknowledged that taking on both events will be a demanding feat – but one that he expects to motivate him.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge because I’ve never done it before. I did it in ’17, but I crashed out of both, so hopefully, it will be a bit better than that,” he sad.
“It’s a big challenge. It’s my 18th year as a professional, so I need to mix it up a bit. It’s something which will get me out of bed in the morning.”
The 2024 Giro, which starts in Venaria Reale near Turin on May 4, will mark Thomas’s sixth career visit to the race. He finished 118th and then 80th in his first two appearances and then DNFed the next two after crashes before last year’s oh-so-close run at the overall win, where Roglič overhauled him in the time trial – despite Thomas’s own talents in that discipline – on the penultimate stage.
This year’s Giro will feature a pair of time trials, which Thomas should appreciate, albeit with the understanding that Pogačar tends to shine against the clock as well.
As for the Tour, Thomas is set to make his 13th career start in that race later this season. He has finished on the podium three times in his last four Tours de France, including winning the race back in 2018. He is likely to head into the 2024 race as only one of Ineos’s main options, with rising star Carlos Rodríguez and Tom Pidcock both expected to be featured riders for the team this summer in France.
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