Mid-November, then it is gradually time for the riders to get back on the bike after a few weeks of rest. In the case of Geraint Thomas (37), this can best be interpreted ‘old-school’. “Nowadays, young riders train all year round. But I really need those few weeks to let off steam so I can get back into the swing of things.”
75 kilograms instead of 68.5 when it comes to prices. The mid-season has left its mark on Geraint Thomas, as usual. The Welshman made little effort to disguise his actions in an interview with ‘The Times’. “I have to be honest, of the 14 nights I had in Cardiff, I was drunk on 12 of them.”
Thomas lives and trains in the south of France throughout the year, but in the off-season he often returns to the place where he grew up. “I meet old friends here and I want to enjoy that time. We often go for something to eat or go to a café. I don’t drink during the season, with one exception. But in my ‘off-season’ I sometimes let myself go.”
Thomas is also building up his fitness in that area. “In the beginning my tolerance for alcohol is not too high, but now I am a good drinker again. I have no idea if it’s a British thing, that culture of drinking something alcoholic when you go out, but I’m very social that way. Not that I need to drink to have fun, but it is an outlet to live like normal people for a while.”
“Nowadays you rarely see young riders having a drink, even in the off-season. It’s a different mentality. They measure everything twelve months a year and after the season they continue cycling or run a marathon. I just need that period to let off steam. Then I realize that I should cycle again and train in a structured way again.”
In addition to the way riders approach the mid-season, Thomas has also seen changes in the way nutrition is handled during the race during his 18-year career. Until recently, classification riders were often on a diet and sometimes returned from training hungry because carbohydrate intake was previously limited to 60 grams per hour.
“Nowadays we eat more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour during a competition, almost double that. I now also ensure that I have more fuel available during training. That works enormously. Major steps have been taken in this regard in the last two years. The fact that I have adapted to this as a rider has ensured that I am still competitive.”
Geraint Thomas, Giro leader with a great gun factor and master of ‘dad jokes’: “G is authentic, that makes him so popular”
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