Geraint Thomas ‘won’t settle for second’ at Giro d’Italia despite Tadej Pogacar dominance – Luke Rowe

Geraint Thomas ‘won’t settle for second’ at Giro d’Italia despite Tadej Pogacar dominance – Luke Rowe
Geraint Thomas ‘won’t settle for second’ at Giro d’Italia despite Tadej Pogacar dominance – Luke Rowe

Geraint Thomas won’t settle for second at the Giro d’Italia despite the imperious form of Tadej Pogacar, says Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Luke Rowe, who insisted the team’s “very monotone” tactics were in the past.

The Welshman heads into the second week at the Giro third in the general classification, 2’58” behind runaway leader Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).

However, Rowe insists that the Slovenian sensation can still be caught, citing the last Two de France outings where Pogacar cracked in the mountains under intense pressure from Jonas Vingegaard.

“You can only look at previous Grand Tours. Have you had some bad days? Yes, he has,” said Rowe, a special guest on The Breakaway on Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, he’s got two legs and two arms like everyone else in the peloton. And talking from an Ineos standpoint, you’ve just got to keep believing, keep chipping away at it.

“Geraint is very consistent over 21 days. I think his worst day of this Grand Tour was the time trial and he finished 10th.

“He needs to stay consistent. I don’t think he has to do anything over the top, go for a Hail Mary… [although] I think he might do at one point.

“He’s not a guy who is going to settle for second. He’s won the Tour de France, so if at the end of his career he also has [another] second place [in the Giro] it’s not going to change a lot.”

He added: “Geraint Thomas is still trying to win the Giro, he’s not going to lay down and let his belly get tickled, he’s there to win the bike race.”

Pogacar needs to look at Giro-Tour double as ‘six-week Grand Tour’ – Rowe

Thomas came within one individual time trial of winning the maglia rosa at the Giro last year, only to see it snatched away by an inspired ride by Primoz Roglic.

He won the 2018 Tour de France during Ineos’ glory era (under former name Team Sky), taking over the baton from Chris Froome who won four yellow jerseys between 2013 and 2017.

Despite their stranglehold on the Tour before the Pogacar-Vingegaard era, the team faced criticism over their negative approach when in the overall lead.

And while Rowe admitted the disapproval was understandable, he said the team were now focused on entertaining.

Asked how the riders are reacting to this new approach to racing, he said: “Love it. It’s exciting.

“The way we rode traditionally was very good for what the job in hand was – take the jersey with the strongest block in the race, which for a long time was Chris Froome, shut the race down, and mentally crack them by riding on the front.

“It was a very monotone way of riding, but it was efficient and a very successful way of winning bike races. Was it the most exciting? No. But it got the job done. Now it’s completely different.”

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