Geraint Thomas Vows To ‘Take On’ The Giro D’Italia As He Looks To Finally Be Pretty In Pink

Geraint Thomas will be hoping for a few more champagne celebrations in Italy this year. Pic: Sara Cavallini/Getty Images)

Geraint Thomas Vows To ‘Take On’ The Giro D’Italia As He Looks To Finally Be Pretty In Pink

By Ian Gordon

Geraint Thomas has vowed to ‘take on’ the Giro d’Italia when the opening Grand Tour of the season starts in Milan on Saturday.

The former Tour de France winner has suffered some cruel luck in the battle for the pink jersey in previous years and famously finished a dramatic second in 2o23 having led going into the penultimate stage time trial.

Thomas eventually missed out by just 14 seconds to Primoz Roglic after that individual time trial but will again be backed by an experienced INEOS Grenadiers team.

The Giro will feature 3,400kms of racing over the 21-stages from the start in Turin on Saturday (May 4) with the finish in Rome on Sunday, May 26.

The 21-stage event features 3400km of racing, starting in Turin before the finish in Rome on Sunday, May 26.

Thomas said: “My preparation has gone well and I’m feeling in a great place ahead of the start. We have a strong line-up and there is a good bond with this group.

“The core is the same as last year’s Giro team, with some great additions for this year. We have spent a lot of time together at training camp; we know what we need to do and are all feeling super motivated to get the job done and deliver.

“Obviously Tadej Pogačar is the pre-race favourite and has a strong team around him, and that changes the dynamic of the race a bit.

“But that also means all eyes will be on him over three long weeks of hard racing. Our plan is to be aggressive, take the race on and look for every opportunity to add pressure and take time.”

Geraint Thomas had a heroes welcome in Cardiff after his 2018 Tour de France triumph.

Thomas has also confirmed his plans for another crack at the Tour de France having famously become the first Welshman to win the Yellow Jersey six years ago.

The Cardiff-born rider added: “With the plan to race the Giro and then go straight into the Tour, there has been a different approach and slower build-up this season.

“But I am feeling good and not thinking beyond the coming weeks in Italy. My only focus now is the Giro and arriving there in my best shape possible.”

Of his team-mates, Dutchman Thymen Arensman, who was sixth overall in 2023 and second in the youth classification, returns to play a crucial support role once again for Thomas in the high mountains.

Highly experienced Ben Swift assumes the crucial role of ‘road captain’, charged with executing the Team’s ambitions to race aggressively and seize any opportunities.

Italian fans favourite, Filippo Ganna, will be firmly eyeing up the individual time trials on stages seven and 14 as he looks to add to his running tally of six Giro stage wins – all for the INEOS Grenadiers.

Jhonatan Narváez, who was a stage-winner in 2020 and has shown excellent early season form, makes his fifth Giro d’Italia start.

Newcomer to the Team, Tobias Foss, a recent winner of the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps and a former top-10 finisher at the Giro, will make his first Grand Tour start as a Grenadier.

There’s also a debut Grand Tour for 22-year-old Magnus Sheffield. The American has impressed in one-week stage races, as well as on the time trial bike, and now takes the next important step in his career in Turin.

The INEOS Grenadiers line-up is completed by Connor Swift who rides his first Giro d’Italia having completed the Tour de France three times.

Steve Cummings, Director of Racing, said: “We’ve selected a strong, versatile line-up for this year’s Giro d’Italia which will enable us to race the way we love.

“It will be three long weeks of full gas, hard racing and we know where we need to put the pressure on, and where we will be able to fight for opportunities.

“In Geraint, we have one of the most experienced riders in the peloton to lead the charge to Rome. He is a proven winner, a brilliant bike rider and a great leader.

“In the general classification, we have three riders who have all finished in the top 10 at this race so we go into it feeling confident in the depth and experience within the group.

“There will be the battle for GC with six summit finishes but there will also be plenty of chances of stage wins especially with two time trials.

“We love racing in Italy. The fans, as well as our Italian technical partners, most notably Pinarello, are fantastic supporters of our Team, and we can’t wait for the Grande Partenza.”

INEOS Grenadiers line-up:

Geraint Thomas (37) – Great Britain
Thymen Arensman (24) – Netherlands
Tobias Foss (26) – Norway
Filippo Ganna (27) – Italy
Ben Swift (36) – Great Britain
Connor Swift (28) – Great Britain
Jhonatan Narváez (27)) – Ecuador
Magnus Sheffield (22) – United States of America

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