|A.K.A.||Geraint Howell Thomas|
|Birth||25 May 1986, Cardiff|
Geraint Howell Thomas, MBE (born 25 May 1986) is a Welsh professional racing cyclist who rides for the UCI WorldTeam Team Sky, Wales and Great Britain.
Thomas has enjoyed success both on the track and on the road. On the track he is a former world champion and Olympic gold medalist in the team pursuit in 2008 and 2012. Thomas’ is the current Commonwealth road champion and has tasted success at the 2004 Junior Paris–Roubaix, through to senior victories at the 2010 British National Road Race Championships. Thomas has also achieved stage race overall victories; the 2011 & 2014 Bayern-Rundfahrt and the 2016 Paris–Nice, as well as winning his first semi-classic, the 2015 E3 Harelbeke.
Early and personal life
Born in Birchgrove, Cardiff, Thomas attended Whitchurch High School. He began cycling with the Maindy Flyers Cycling Club at Maindy Stadium at the age of 10, where he rode with future Team Sky team-mate Luke Rowe, before going on to ride for other local clubs, Cycling Club Cardiff and Cardiff Just in Front. His first race bike was a blue Giant. Following some successes in under 14 and under 16 events, including National Championships, his first notable success came when he won silver medal in the points race at the European Championships.
Thomas met his partner, Sarah Elen Thomas, through an introduction from a cycling friend. The couple reside in Monaco, and got married in Wales in October 2015.
Thomas became a member of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy. He won the Carwyn James Junior Award at the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. Thomas competed at World Cup events around the world, and was training in Sydney, Australia, in February 2005 when he crashed after the rider in front of him hit a piece of metal in the road which was flicked up into Thomas’ wheel. He suffered internal bleeding after the piece of metal entered his body during the fall, rupturing his spleen which subsequently had to be removed.
He rode most of his races of 2006 for Recycling.co.uk, but towards the end of 2006 joined Saunier Duval–Prodir as a stagiaire. He also rode a few races, such as the Tour of Britain, for the Great Britain squad.
Thomas was the youngest rider in the 2007 Tour de France as Team Barloworld picked up one of the three wildcard spots allocated for the race. He became the first Welsh rider to compete in the race since Colin Lewis in 1967, Thomas received great support from Welsh fans at the opening of the race, with several following the entire race. He completed his first Tour de France, finishing 140th of 141 finishers.
He was nominated for the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 2007, the winners were announced on 2 December, Thomas was third in the public vote.
Thomas did not compete in the 2008 Tour de France, instead, he rode the 2008 Giro d’Italia earlier in the season before returning to Britain to concentrate on preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. On discovering that the flags of non-participating nations would not be allowed at the Games, Thomas said: “It would be great to do a lap of honour draped in the Welsh flag if I win a gold medal, and I’m very disappointed if this rule means that would not be possible.”
On 17 August Thomas was a member of the Olympic team pursuit squad which broke the world record in the heats with a time of 3:55.202, beating their Russian opponents comfortably to go through to the final ride-off for silver and gold. The following day, on their way to winning the gold medal, the British Team pursuit broke their own world record in a time of 3:53.314, beating their Danish competitors by 6.7 seconds. Thomas had been a possible contender in the individual pursuit, but opted not to ride both events as he did not want to compromise the efforts of his team. He had also been considered to compete in the Madison with Bradley Wiggins but it was Mark Cavendish who was selected to do so; Chris Boardman stated that “Geraint keeps surpassing people’s expectations”.
Following the disqualification of fellow Barloworld team mate, Moises Duenas, from the Tour de France, Thomas expressed his strong anti-doping opinions on his blog on the BBC 6-0-6 website: “..if someone is fraudulent in a business, wouldn’t they be facing a prison term? I don’t see how riders taking drugs to win races and lying to their teams is any different. Bang them up and throw away the key!”
In December, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.
Thomas suffered a bad start to his 2009 season when he broke his pelvis and fractured his nose in a fall; he crashed into a safety barrier having misjudged a turn in the time trial stage of the Tirreno–Adriatico in Macerata, Italy. The crash came shortly after an 8 km time check showed he was second fastest on the road. Although he was able to return to his team hotel from hospital the same day, a period of 20 days complete rest was required before he would be able to resume training.
On 30 October 2009, Thomas set the fastest pursuit time under current rules, at the time, when he completed 4 kilometres in 4:15.105 at the first round of the 2009–2010 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics at Manchester Velodrome. Thomas’ time was only surpassed by Chris Boardman, 4:11.114, set in 1996 on a bicycle position that has since been banned. On 1 November, on the last day of this World Cup round, Thomas was a member of the team pursuit squad which set the second-fastest time ever on their way to the gold medal, setting a new track record of 3 minutes 54.395 seconds in the process.
Thomas was runner-up to Ryan Giggs in the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 2009; the winners were announced on 8 December. He left Barloworld at the end of 2009 to join new British team, Team Sky.
Thomas began 2010 as part of the team time trial winning team for Sky at the 2010 Tour of Qatar. After competing in the classics, he impressed at the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing in the top ten in each of the opening four stages. As a result of these finishes, he was the leader in green jersey competition for stages two and four and six. He finished fifth in the green jersey competition overall, and twenty-first in the general classification.
Thomas beat team mate Peter Kennaugh to win the 2010 British National Road Race Championship. His good form continued into the 2010 Tour de France, in which he finished fifth in the Prologue and second on stage three. This led to him leading the young riders classification after stage three. Thomas finished 67th overall in the Tour, and ninth in the Young Riders Classification.
Thomas had been due to travel to Delhi, India in September to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but pulled out, as did several other cyclists, due to health concerns. Dengue Fever was one specific concern cited. Illness was especially a risk for Thomas following the removal of his spleen in 2005. Following the decision, Thomas said “It’s a massive disappointment, I only get to ride for Wales once every four years, but that’s the decision I had to make.”
Thomas started the year with some promising performances in the classics, finishing sixth in the Classica Sarda and second in the Dwars door Vlaanderen before placing tenth in the Tour of Flanders Thomas claimed his first professional victory in May 2011 by winning the five-day 2011 Bayern-Rundfahrt race, after finishing second on stage 3 and fifth on stage 4. On 26 June 2011, Thomas finished second to Bradley Wiggins in the British National Road Race Championships.
At the 2011 Tour de France, Thomas finished sixth on the opening stage to take the white jersey. He retained the jersey the following day, as Sky finished third in the team time trial. Thomas lost the white jersey to Robert Gesink on stage 7, as team leader Bradley Wiggins crashed out of the Tour, and the remaining Sky riders lost time after waiting for him. Thomas won the combativity award on the 212 km stage 12, following an aggressive breakaway 2 km into the first Pyrenean stage, that saw him lose control twice on the descent of the Hourquette d’Ancizan. He finished 36th on the stage after being caught by the general classification leaders with 7 km to go on the final climb of the day, and rose to 25th overall. Thomas signed a new three-year contract with Sky after stage 16. He finished 31st overall in the Tour.
Thomas had a successful 2011 Tour of Britain, winning the points classification, having been highly placed in the overall standings before a crash. He was part of the Great Britain team for the road race at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships, and helped lead out Mark Cavendish to victory.
Thomas focused on track cycling for the 2012 season, competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. As such, the 2012 Giro d’Italia was his road race priority, before turning his focus to the track. In March, Thomas did ride 2012 Paris-Nice, where he helped Bradley Wiggins take overall victory. On 4 April Thomas was a member of the British team pursuit team that won gold the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, with a new world record of 3:53.295 seconds. He also teamed up with Ben Swift to take the silver medal in the madison. Thomas then returned to the road, winning the prologue of the 2012 Tour de Romandie.
Thomas finished second behind Taylor Phinney in the opening time trial of the Giro d’Italia. Thomas acted as lead out man to Mark Cavendish in the race, helping him to three stage victories. Thomas also finished second to Marco Pinotti in the final stage time trial in Milan.
Thomas was selected in the team pursuit team for the Olympics, along with Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Peter Kennaugh. On 2 August the quartet set a new world record of 3:52.499 in the first heat of the event. The team set the fastest time in the first round, setting up a final with Australia to decide the gold medal winners. In the final, the British team set another world record of 3:51.659, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of the Australians, with Thomas retaining his gold medal in the event.
Thomas began the 2013 season at the 2013 Tour Down Under. He won Stage 2 after attacking on the Corkscrew Climb, and outsprinting three riders that had joined him on the descent. Thomas held the race lead until the penultimate stage, where he cracked on Old Willunga Hill and dropped to fifth overall. However, he fought back on the final stage in Adelaide, taking enough bonus seconds to rise to third place overall, 25 seconds behind Dutch rider Tom-Jelte Slagter, and won the sprints classification.
Thomas was given a leadership role in Sky’s Classics campaign. His best results were a couple of fourth places in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke, as he crashed out of contention in Milan – San Remo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. After a break, Thomas returned to action at Bayern-Rundfahrt, where he finished second overall. He showed excellent climbing form at the Critérium du Dauphiné, helping Chris Froome and Richie Porte secure a 1–2 overall finish, whilst also placing 15th overall himself.
He was selected to ride the 2013 Tour de France, but crashed heavily on the opening stage. Thomas started the next stage but struggled, finishing second last and after returning to hospital was found to have a fractured pelvis. Despite his injury, Thomas continued, and managed to finish the Tour in 140th place, helping Froome take overall victory
Thomas once again started the season at the Tour Down Under, this time riding in support of Richie Porte, and finishing eighth overall. Thomas was again scheduled to support Porte at Paris–Nice, but an injury to Froome meant that Porte was switched to Tirreno–Adriatico, leaving Thomas to lead the squad in France. Thomas performed strongly, finishing second to Garmin–Sharp’s Tom-Jelte Slagter on the fourth stage, to take the leader’s yellow jersey, before dropping to second behind Carlos Betancur on the sixth stage. The next day however, Thomas hit a tree on a descent 5 km (3.1 mi) from the finish; although he would complete the stage some seven minutes in arrears, Thomas did not start the final stage. Thomas recovered to take his good form into the Classics season, finishing third in E3 Harelbeke. He led Team Sky at the Tour of Flanders and managed an eighth-place finish, 37 seconds behind the winning rider, Fabian Cancellara, having had to chase back after being dropped on the Taaienberg climb. Thomas also secured a hard-fought seventh position in Paris–Roubaix, finishing as part of a group twenty seconds behind solo winner Niki Terpstra having been active in an earlier break with Tom Boonen.
In May, Thomas won the overall classification at Bayern-Rundfahrt for the second time in his career, after winning the individual time trial on Stage 4.
In the 2014 Tour de France, Thomas acted as a domestique to Sky team-mate Richie Porte, following the withdrawal of his compatriot Chris Froome on stage five. Porte soon fell down the overall standings after suffering badly on stage thirteen to Chamrousse. Thomas was then given the freedom to go for stage wins and appeared in a number of breakaways. Thomas was the only Briton to finish the race, placing 22nd overall, his best ever result in the Tour de France.
Thomas represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He won bronze in the individual time trial behind Alex Dowsett of England and Rohan Dennis of Australia. Thomas won gold in the road race after attacking Scott Thwaites and Jack Bauer on the final lap of the Glasgow City Centre circuit, and built up a large enough gap to survive a scare when he had to change a wheel in the closing stages. Thomas rounded off his season with sixth overall at the Eneco Tour in August.
In December, Thomas was voted the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
In February 2015 Thomas won the second stage of the Volta ao Algarve after following an attack by Rein Taaramäe (Astana) on the final climb of the day, before going clear and holding off the chasers on the descent to the finish, 19 seconds ahead of the Estonian and 23 seconds ahead of the peloton to take the race lead. He defended the lead by placing third in the time trial on Stage 3, and fourth on Stage 4, which finished on the summit of the Alto do Malhão and was won by teammate Richie Porte. He finished safely on the final stage to claim overall victory.
Thomas’s next race was the Paris–Nice. He took second place on the race’s queen stage to the Col de la Croix de Chabouret, again behind Porte. He lost time on the penultimate stage of the race, after crashing on a wet descent, but continued and finished fifth in the overall standings. The following week, he took part in the Milan–San Remo. He attacked on several occasions during the race, most significantly on the descent of the Cipressa. Although he led the race solo over the top of the Poggio, he was caught soon afterwards and finished just behind the front group. Five days later, Thomas became the first British rider to win the E3 Harelbeke, attacking from a 3-man breakaway with Zdeněk Štybar (Etixx–Quick-Step) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff–Saxo) in the closing stages and holding on to triumph. Two days later Thomas finished third in Gent–Wevelgem behind Luca Paolini (Team Katusha) and Niki Terpstra (Etixx–Quick-Step), despite being blown off his bike and crashing due to a gust of wind in extreme weather conditions.
In June, Thomas produced one of the best climbing performances of his career at the Tour de Suisse by finishing fifth on Stage 5, which finished with a climb to the Rettenbach glacier to an altitude of 2,669 m (8,757 ft) with the last 12.1 km (7.5 mi) featured an average gradient of 10.7%. Thomas placed fifth in the concluding time trial on Stage 9, missing out on overall victory by a gap of five seconds to Simon Špilak (Team Katusha).
At the Tour de France Thomas played a support role for Chris Froome, helping him navigate a first week featuring crosswinds, hill top finishes, cobblestones and a team time trial. On the first mountain stage in the Pyrenees, Thomas helped set up Froome’s winning attack by reducing the peloton on the final climb, the Col de la Pierre St Martin and placed sixth on the stage alongside Alejandro Valverde of the Movistar Team. This result meant Thomas rose to fifth overall on the general classification. He dropped down to sixth after finishing just over half a minute behind Alberto Contador on Stage 14 from Rodez to Mende. On Stage 16, Warren Barguil (Team Giant–Alpecin) lost control approaching a hairpin bend the descent of the Col de Manse and collided with Thomas, causing him to crash head first into a telegraph pole and fall into a ditch. However Thomas escaped serious injury, and was able to complete the stage and lost just 38 seconds to the leading group. He subsequently moved up to fourth overall after Stage 17 to Pra Loup, when Tejay van Garderen pulled out of the race due to illness and Contador lost time due to a crash. However he struggled on Stage 19’s climb up La Toussuire, finishing 22 minutes behind stage winner Vincenzo Nibali and sliding down to 15th place in the general classification, 27 minutes and 24 seconds off Froome.
In August he was named in the start list for the 2015 Vuelta a España.
In February 2016, Thomas retained his Volta ao Algarve title, after placing fifth on the decisive fifth stage behind Alberto Contador.
In March 2016, Thomas led Team Sky at Paris–Nice. On Stage 6, Thomas finished second to Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) on a mountain top finish at Madone d’Utelle to take the race lead by 15 seconds over Contador. Thomas was able to defend his lead on the final stage, with assistance from teammate Sergio Henao, after Contador repeatedly attacked and distanced Thomas on the final climb of the Col d’Èze. Thomas crossed the finish line in Nice 11 seconds after Contador to win the race by 4 seconds.
In May 2016, it was reported that Thomas had signed a two-year contract extension keeping him at Sky until the end of 2018 season. However the following month he clarified that the contract was for one year with the option of a further year.
In June 2016 Thomas was part of the Team Sky squad at the Tour de France that aided Chris Froome in securing his third Tour de France overall win.
- 1st Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne Juniores
- 1st Paris-Roubaix Juniors
- 1st Scratch Race, UCI Junior Track World Championships
- 1st Scratch Race, National Track Championships
- 1st Overall Flèche du Sud
- 1st Points classification
- 1st Under-21 classification
- 1st Stage 2
- 3rd Points Race, Commonwealth Games
- 3rd National Road Race Championships
- 1st Team pursuit, UCI Track World Championships
- 1st Team pursuit, Olympic Games
- 1st Team pursuit, UCI Track World Championships
- 1st Smithfield Nocturne
- National Track Championships
- 1st Individual pursuit
- 2nd Madison (with Luke Rowe)
- 5th Coppa Bernocchi
- 6th Overall Tour of Britain
- 1st National Road Race Championships
- 1st Stage 1 (TTT) Tour of Qatar
- 3rd Scratch Race, National Track Championships
- 3rd National Time Trial Championships
- Tour de France
- Held after Stages 3–6
- 1st Team pursuit, UEC European Track Championships
- 1st Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
- 2nd National Road Race Championships
- 2nd Dwars door Vlaanderen
- 6th Classica Sarda
- 10th Tour of Flanders
- Tour de France
- Held after Stages 1–7
- Combativity award Stage 12
- 1st Points classification Tour of Britain
- 1st Team pursuit, Olympic Games
- UCI Track World Championships
- 1st Team pursuit
- 2nd Madison (with Ben Swift)
- 1st Prologue Tour de Romandie
- 2nd Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
- 3rd Overall Tour Down Under
- 1st Sprints classification
- 1st Stage 2
- Most aggressive rider award Stage 6
- 3rd UCI World Team Time Trial Championships
- 4th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
- 4th E3 Harelbeke
- 10th Overall Tour of Qatar
- Commonwealth Games
- 1st Road race
- 3rd Time trial
- 1st Overall Bayern-Rundfahrt
- 1st Stage 4 (ITT)
- 2nd National Time Trial Championships
- 3rd E3 Harelbeke
- 6th Overall Eneco Tour
- 7th Paris–Roubaix
- 8th Overall Tour Down Under
- 8th Tour of Flanders
- 1st Overall Volta ao Algarve
- 1st Points classification
- 1st Stage 2
- 1st E3 Harelbeke
- 1st Stage 1 (TTT) Tour de Romandie
- 2nd Overall Tour de Suisse
- 3rd Gent–Wevelgem
- 5th Overall Paris–Nice
- 1st Overall Paris–Nice
- 1st Overall Volta ao Algarve
- 9th Time trial, Olympic Games
Grand Tour general classification results timeline
|Tour de France||140||—||—||67||31||—||140||22||15||15|
|Vuelta a España||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||69||—|
Major stage race general classification results timeline
|Volta a Catalunya||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||DNF|
|Tour of the Basque Country||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Tour de Romandie||—||—||88||DNF||—||—||87||51|
|Critérium du Dauphiné||—||21||DNF||—||15||46||—||—|
|Tour de Suisse||—||—||—||—||—||—||2||17|
Classics results timeline
|Omloop Het Nieuwsblad||—||—||—||—||4||—||—||—|
|Dwars door Vlaanderen||—||32||2||—||19||—||—||—|
|Tour of Flanders||—||33||10||—||41||8||14||12|
DNF = Did not finish
— = Did not compete
|Team pursuit||3:56.322||27 March 2008||World Championships||Manchester|
|3:55.202||17 August 2008||Olympic Games||Laoshan (Beijing)|
|3:53.314||18 August 2008|
|3:53.295||4 April 2012||World Championships||Hisense Arena (Melbourne)|
|3:52.499||2 August 2012||Olympic Games||Lee Valley (London)|
|3:51.659||3 August 2012|