GERAINT THOMAS is a professional racing cyclist who is a double Olympic track gold medallist and famously won the the 2018 Tour de France.
Over his career as a professional cyclist he has become one of the sport’s most explosive, versatile and celebrated riders. In winning the iconic Tour de France he became the first British rider to win two stages of the race, including on top of the daunting Alpe d’Huez.
Born in Cardiff on May 25, 1986, and growing up on the outskirts of the city, ‘G’ always dreamed of being a pro cyclist and spent most of his free time at the Maindy Velodrome honing his skills.
Thomas attended Whitchurch High School and joined Maindy Flyers Cycling Club at the age of 10, riding with future Team Sky team-mate Luke Rowe, before going on to compete for other local clubs, Cycling Club Cardiff and Cardiff Just in Front.
Thomas gained early recognition when he become a member of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy and picked up the Carwyn James Junior Award at the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.
Rising up through the British cycling ranks, Thomas tasted success at the 2004 Paris–Roubaix Juniors, through to senior victories at the 2010 British National Road Race Championships. He went on to win six World Cups and three World Championships.
Thomas was an Olympic gold medallist in the team pursuit in both 2008 and 2012 for Great Britain, before turning his focus exclusively onto road racing and achieving success for Wales in the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race, a feat which saw him named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.
He went on to gain stage race overall victories with the 2011 & 2014 Bayern-Rundfahrt, the 2016 Paris–Nice and the 2017 Tour of the Alps, the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as winning his first semi-classic, the 2015 E3 Harelbeke.
In cycling’s grand tours, Thomas was initially a lead domestique to Chris Froome in his victories. He won the first stage of the 2017 Tour de France, an individual time trial, to become the first Welshman to wear the Tour’s yellow jersey.
He later crashed in that race, as well as in the 2017 Giro d’Italia, before winning the 2018 Tour de France. He gained the yellow jersey by winning stage 11, extended his lead by winning stage 12, and retained the lead for the remainder of the event. In doing so he became only the third British rider after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Welsh singer-songwriter Max Boyce wrote a poem in honour of Thomas’s Tour de France victory, The Boy Who Climbed a Mountain, which Boyce performed at Thomas’s Cardiff homecoming event in August 2018.
Thomas appeared in front of 3,000 people outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay where he was greeted by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones before riding alongside a group of young riders to Cardiff Castle, where a crowd of 8,000 heard him speak.
In September 2018, the Wales National Velodrome in Newport was officially renamed the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome: Thomas attended the renaming ceremony after the first stage of the 2018 Tour of Britain finished in the city.
In December, Thomas was named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year for the second time, before he went on to win the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to cycling.
Also in 2019, he reached the Tour de France podium again, having finished runner-up behind Team Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal.
Like his compatriot Nicole Cooke, a Commonwealth, Olympic and World road race champion, Thomas has spoken out against the scourge of drug-taking to improve performance in top cycling.
In 2008, following the disqualification of fellow Barloworld team-mate, Moisés Dueñas, 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 his spare time, Thomas and his wife run a wedding venue in Chepstow which they renovated following their own wedding in 2015. Thomas enjoys charity work and has helped charities such as Shelter and Age UK.
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.
He is a long-standing ambassador for Fi’zi:k who have supported him for many years and is also proudly partnered with Zwift, Continental Tyres and Brains Brewery, with which he has co-created the ‘G’ beer!
Thomas took on the challenge of riding 12 hours a day for three days straight on Zwift, mirroring the typical shift of a National Health Service (NHS) worker, in a bid to raise £100,000 to support NHS workers across the UK.
“Like everyone around the country I’ve been blown away by the hard work of the NHS at the moment,” he said. “To show my support and try to raise a few quid, I’m doing the only thing I know how and jumping on my bike.”
A fundraising page was set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/GsNHSZwiftShifts
Sources include GeraintThomas.com, wikipedia, zwiftinsider.com
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