Geraint Thomas to ride both Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2024

British Tour de France winner will return to the Giro d'Italia as he looks to win his second Grand Tour, before heading to the Tour as part of the Ineos Grenadiers' squad

Clock17:07, Wednesday 24th January 2024
Geraint Thomas will be looking to win his second Grand Tour in 2024, to add to his Tour de France title

© Sprint Cycling Agency

Geraint Thomas will be looking to win his second Grand Tour in 2024, to add to his Tour de France title

As reported by GCN two weeks ago, Geraint Thomas will ride both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2024, as the Ineos Grenadiers veteran looks to avenge last year's Giro defeat and carry good form into the Tour de France.

Thomas confirmed the news in a discussion with Matt Stephens on an Instagram live Q&A, with the Brit keen to "get the best result [at the Tour], or go into it in the best shape."

Thomas' racing programme had been the subject of much speculation, with the Welshman one of two obvious Grand Tour leaders alongside Carlos Rodríguez in the British team's ranks. The Spaniard has already made his ambitions clear for the Tour de France, with Tom Pidcock also set to chance his arm at another GC push, after last year's disappointment.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, Thomas said: "I'm basically going to ride the Giro and the Tour. I really wanted to go back to the Giro after last year and give it one big go, 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."

"It's going to be a massive challenge because I've never done it before. I did it in '17 but crashed out of both, so hopefully, it will be a bit better than that. It's a big challenge, it's my 18th year as a professional so I need to mix it up a bit, I find. It's something which will certainly get me out of bed in the morning!"

The Welshman signed a new two-year contract with the British team at the end of last season, having come within 14 seconds of winning the Giro d'Italia in May.

It was a spectacular race for the 2018 Tour de France champion, who showed himself more than a match of the eventual winner, Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe). Only a last-minute swing on the stage 20 time trial was enough to see Thomas relinquish control of the pink jersey.

Despite the initial heartbreak at having lost out to Roglič at the last, Thomas was soon in a reflective mood, expressing his satisfaction at the performance after early-season setbacks which included a stubborn UTI infection.

Read more: 'I think I can look back and be super satisfied,' says Geraint Thomas of 2023

The rest of 2023 would not be so memorable for Thomas, not for good reason at least, with a commendable 10th place at the World Championships Time Trial followed by a miserable three weeks of racing at the Vuelta a España. The 37-year-old's GC bid collapsed early on and the remainder of the race was spent trudging around, save for one hit out in a stage 20 breakaway.

Determined to continue mixing it up with the peloton's whipper-snappers, Thomas is currently at a training camp on the island of Tenerife with some of his fellow teammates, including new signing Tobias Foss and former Spanish national champion, Rodríguez.

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Thomas to have 17 race days before Giro d'Italia

Alongside his announcement regarding the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, Thomas also revealed his provisional racing calendar for 2024, which will begin with the Volta ao Algarve on 14 February.

"I'm going to start with Algarve at the minute, and then basically the same run-in as I had last year," he said. "So [Volta a] Catalunya, Sierra Nevada as an altitude camp, [Tour of the] Alps and Giro. So it's maybe like 17 days of racing going into the Giro, so not a hell of a lot for obvious reasons really, because by the time you get to the Tour, you don't want to have 50-odd days in you."

Read more: Tom Pidcock to make road season debut at Volta ao Algarve

Last year, Thomas began his season at the Santos Tour Down Under in January, but this time around, the Brit has opted for a much earlier stint of training in Tenerife. The 37-year-old has just finished his second block of winter prep around Mount Teide, whereas, he would usually visit the island in April or May.

"It's certainly different," he continued. "I think that block in between the Giro and the Tour is the main thing. I've said so much about weight, that's the key bit really, so just staying on the ball there. We'll have to go to altitude again, we'll go somewhere closer to home so the family can still come out and it will be a bit more relaxed."

Read more: Homesickness, solo parenting and changed perspectives - the experience of fatherhood as a professional cyclist

Dave Brailsford involved in decision to ride Giro and Tour de France

Thomas' announcement comes just a day after Ineos Grenadiers' new CEO John Allert spoke of the team's optimism heading into 2024.

"We’ve clearly transitioned from one leadership to new leadership," Allert acknowledged to GCN and other members of the media, "and we’ve got an exciting rider group and we’ve made a good start to the season. I feel a lot of optimism within the team, and in the sport."

Read more: Ineos Grenadiers: We’re the hunter not the hunted

Allert's words alluded to the recent internal change at the British WorldTeam which has seen Dave Brailsford resign as the team principal, to devote his time to his role as Ineos Director of Sport - across a multitude of elite sports.

After the initial news caused quite a stir, Ineos Grenadiers were quick to insist that Brailsford would remain hands-on with the team, and Thomas has since revealed that the team co-founder played a significant role in the decision to ride both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France this year.

"Dave Brailsford was making the call and he left it to the team to discuss and debate, and then we'd decide. [After much discussion], it got to a stage where I was just like, 'can we just decide now please,'" Thomas laughed.

"It had always been in the back of my mind going back to the Giro, since last year really. Then speaking to the team, they were still keen for me to go to the Tour. So then it was kind of just like, 'Why don't we just try and do both?' It was fairly early on in December time really [that it was decided]."

With the decision made and in the public sphere, Thomas hopes to become the third British winner of the Giro d'Italia, after former teammates Chris Froome and Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Whether or not he can better his second-place finish from last season remains to be seen, but as opposed to last year, Thomas will not need to refind his legs in the second half of the campaign. Instead, he hopes to carry his form into July, much like Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).

"I think the mentality of knowing that I'm going to stay on it and go to the Tour is the main thing," Thomas said. "Because normally when I do the Tour, or a big hit, that's it then and that's when I drown my form and put on a few kilos and you kind of switch off. There's still the Olympics after that as well, so it's a massive year."

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