Dedicated readers will recall last year’s check-ins on Geraint Thomas. We are going to do that again.
And Geraint just won himself a bike race. After a gold medal and world record in London, the team pursuit phenom is facing the first year of the rest of his life as a road racer, exclusively. He’s had more than moderate success in races as diverse as the Tour de France and the one-day Classics, but for the Welshman, his role in a new-look SKY team will be very interesting to monitor.
His win at Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under just proves his adaptability as a rider. While primarily viewed as either a leadout man for Edvald Boasson-Hagan or a Prologue specialist (see: Giro d’Italia 2012) he has the capacity to take opportunistic risks and get away with it. His attack on the Corkscrew was both impressive from a physical standpoint, but also from a tactical one. While the other favorites watched each other, Thomas put in a dramatic move that left out the likes of Philipe Gilbert and Simon Gerrans, two riders with big ambitions for the overall.
Just as important moving forward, SKY’s work and commitment to Thomas signals he has some high expectations from a team that boasts solid sprinters and some of the world’s biggest GC men in Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome. While those two have bigger fish to fry in May and July, respectively, it looks as though SKY are giving Thomas full permission to lead the squad in the early stage races. With Thomas up against fellow Classics riders like Gilbert and Gerrans, he looks to be on an early season set up heading into Flanders, Roubaix and perhaps the Ardennes campaign as well.