Sport Geraint Thomas: I struggled to watch Geoghegan Hart win the Giro d'Italia
Vincenzo Nibali 'would think twice' before stopping Giro d'Italia due to coronavirus concerns
Italian faces defining weekend doubleheaderAt times, the bike race seems almost incidental to this year's Giro, which is increasingly couching itself as a symbol of Italy's response to the coronavirus pandemic. EF Pro Cycling's request to end the Giro a week early was perceived in some quarters as an attack on the race – "Shameful," read one headline – and, ergo, a slight on Italy itself.
is eyeing the Tour de France and Olympic Games in 2021, with a potential score to settle at the Giro d’Italia, as he navigates an off-season he feels he hasn’t really deserved. The Welshman has also revealed he struggled to watch his teammate win the after he crashed out in the opening week.
Thomas, who missed out on selection for’ Tour de France line-up, fractured his pelvis when he in the neutral zone on stage 3, ending his season before it had really got going.
Giro d'Italia stage 16 – Live coverage
Follow all the live text race action from ItalyStart List
"Obviously I crashed out of the Giro, which was the big goal of the year, and it almost feels like I don’t deserve an off-season, because I never really got fully into the racing," Thomas said on BBC Radio Wales on Thursday.
"Although mentally I definitely need the break now, just to switch off and chill out a bit."
Thomas admitted that the mental stress extended to his teammates carrying on and enjoying huge success without him. Ineos winning seven stages was one thing, but Geoghegan Hart – who came into the race as one of his domestiques – taking the overall title was another.
Although he was happy for the 25-year-old, he recently revealed in a Telegraph column that it was "too raw" for him to bring himself to watch the final stages.
2020 Giro d'Italia stage 18 highlights - Video
Watch Hindley win at Laghi di Cancano as Kelderman moves into the overall leadThe peloton raced 207km from Pinzolo up to the Laghi di Cancano on a day that included four categorised climbs, including the daunting 27km Stelvio.
On BBC Radio Wales, Thomas added: "It was great to see. He’s a young rider, full of potential. Obviously he was there to help me try to win initially, and obviously I went home and he had an opportunity and come the last week he was suddenly right up there. To finish it off and deal with that pressure was great for him, great for the team, and great to see.
"Although I did sort of struggle… if I’m being honest I wasn’t tuning in every day to watch it live, but I was keeping track, still messaging the boys. It’s great for them."
Since leaving Italy, Thomas has been at home in Wales with his wife and his one-year-old son, and admitted he found it hard to adapt and recover at first.
"I’m a lot better now I’ve started doing what the physio has been telling me," he said.
"The first week was quite tough – I got home and it was straight into the off-season. Maybe I wasn’t doing the rehab and resting I should have, but I was busy chasing my son around.
"It’s just the mentality. Being the off-season, it’s easy not to do everything 100 per cent knowing you’re going to be off the bike for four weeks anyway, but it’s all good now."
Thomas will soon set his sights on the 2021 season.
Although plans will be defined with the Ineos team management deeper into the winter, the 34-year-old highlighted the Tour de France and Olympic Games - pushed back to next July - as his principal targets. However, he did not rule out a return to the Giro, a race he has now abandoned twice due to freak crashes when in top form.
"I think the Tour and the Olympics," Thomas said of his 2021 goals. "Obviously I've got to down with the team and go through it properly, but the Giro as well is still sort of in the back of my mind, especially after this year."
Geoghegan Hart, Ineos top prize winners in Giro d'Italia .
Team takes home €430,693 with €314,781 won by Geoghegan HartIneos Grenadiers took home roughly €430,693 - excluding the daily Intergiro sprints and combativity bonuses. In comparison, the top team in the Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates, won almost €200,000 more.