Geraint Thomas: 'You just can't imagine how big London 2012 is going to be'

The Cycle Show ambassador speaks to BikeBiz...
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Wearing the white jersey and riding in Team Sky for its first TdF stage win, Olympian Geraint Thomas MBE is riding high. BikeBiz spoke to the Welsh star mid-tour…

How was the race today [Stage 8, the day after Bradley Wiggins crashed out]?
I enjoyed it actually. It’s gone really well. We had a good chat this morning as a team and we decided that we just had to go out there and be aggressive and really race it. Obviously we lost Brad but we’ve got good spirit and there’s a good mood in camp. We rode really well. The plan seems to be coming off.

For most of the first week you wore the white jersey, then Team Sky had their first stage win in the Tour de France, but then Bradley Wiggins had the crash that put him out of the rest of the Tour. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster – is it hard to keep that positive attitude?
It [Wiggins crashing out] was a massive disappointment and a really big shock. But crashes happen and it’s all a part of cycling, really. It was a downer for the team, but we have to pick ourselves up. And we’ve been cycling really well. You just put it behind you when you ride, especially in a race as big as the Tour de France.

You’re an ambassador for Cycle Show this year. How did you come to be involved with the event?
I went along to it last year and it was great. It’s cool to see the new kit. The chance to come along to this year’s event came up and I thought why not? It’s very popular and it’s great to be a part of it.

Have you got a favourite bike shop, or one that has played a key role in influencing your love of cycling?
In Cardiff I rode for Jiff – they were a local club and they are linked to a bike shop called Cyclopaedia on the Crwys road in Cardiff. They helped me out a lot with kits and things. And I was always breaking things on the bike so they were also fixing my bike a lot. They really helped me when I was a junior.

Now you’re working with Thomson holidays and leading a tour in Belgium?
Yeah, we’re doing the Flanders route over two days. It’s a great chance to ride the route again. I’ve raced it for the last two years so it’ll be great to appreciate it when you’re not flat out for time and be able to learn it better. And it’s nice to be able to share my experience of it. It’s good to give something back to it.

And you’ve been closely involved with a charity ride?
At the end of the Tour – about a week after – we’re doing a charity ride. My girlfriend’s granddad passed away recently and he was suffering from dementia, so that’s what we’re raising money for. I agreed to do on the ride on a tandem, which I’m starting to regret now! It’ll be great to be able to raise some money for the charities and it has to be a bit of a challenge so people want to give money to it.

London 2012 is just around the corner now. What are your goals there?
Just one medal. I can’t really do the road race or any other cycle event – my best chance is the team pursuit medal. I just have to concentrate on that and I don’t want to jeopardise my preparation by working on other cycle events [at the Olympics].

Are you looking forward to riding in the Olympics on home turf?
For sure. We’re riding for Britain and all the British flags will be there. If you think about the amount of people and support we see in Manchester now it’ll be bigger than that in London. You just can’t imagine how big it’s going to be.

Finally, you’re very active on Twitter. Why are cyclists such keen Tweeters?
Russ Downing first got me into it about a year ago and it’s just something I do now – it’s a way of getting your thoughts out there. It’s just another way of communicating with people.

Geraint Thomas is an official ambassador of the Cycle Show 2011 and will be at the trade day. Registration for the cycle trade is free at cycleshow.co.uk/register

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