Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas says he is excited and motivated after returning to the track for the final block of preparation ahead of the London Olympic Games.
The 26 year-old made his last competitive appearance on the road before August as part of Team Sky’s Giro d’Italia team, with his focus now on acquiring a second Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit.
During the Giro, part of a road schedule which the Welshman believes has been instrumental in his Olympic training, Thomas registered second places in both the opening and closing time trial stages behind Taylor Phinney and Marco Pinotti respectively, as well as helping to lead out Mark Cavendish to three stage victories.
Now back with team pursuit teammates Peter Kennaugh, Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke, the British Cycling Podium Programme rider is quickly adapting to the track again, a transition which has become smoother with practice.
“I had two weeks pretty easy to be honest after the Giro just freshening up,” Thomas said at the Team GB Olympic cycling team announcement. “I got back on the track on last Monday and felt pretty good. The more times you go from road to track in the year I think it gets a lot easier so stepping back onto the track this week hasn’t been as bad as in the past.
“Obviously I’ve got a way to go but I’m excited now, wearing the kit, it’s only six or seven weeks away. It’s the last phase and we just seem to have been talking about it for so long, it’s nice to see it there now, it’s the last final push really.
“It’s exciting, it is probably my last big chunk of time on the track as well. After the Games I’m going to look to the road more and move on in that area. I’m super excited and motivated.”
At the age of 22 in 2008, the former British road race champion was the youngest member of Great Britain’s gold winning team pursuit foursome in Beijing. Now 26, his ambitions will turn to the road once he leaves the Olympic Velodrome, having already shown more than enough promise to be a genuine general classification contender.
This year, however, he will miss the Tour de France and with it the chance to help Beijing team pursuit colleague Bradley Wiggins battle for the yellow jersey, but Thomas has no misgivings about the decision.
“There are no regrets at all because I wanted to go to London and win a gold medal,” Thomas said.
“I didn’t want to get on that start line knowing I’d jeopardised it in any way so I’ve committed 100% to track and the team pursuit, then if we don’t win we don’t win and we weren’t good enough but maybe if I had ridden the Tour and got second I would’ve thought ‘if I had just concentrated on the track’.
“I would have liked to have ridden the Tour for sure but it’s just the way they fell. It just wasn’t possible. I’m still going to watch it and part of me is still going to want to have been there but that’s just the way it is, you can’t do everything.”