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Geraint Thomas: Giro d’Italia could be last Grand Tour as leader

Geraint Thomas says this year’s Giro d’Italia might be his final Grand Tour as a team leader.

The former Tour de France champion, who turned 38 on Saturday, is set to finish third in Italy with only Sunday’s processional final stage in Rome remaining.

Thomas has led Ineos Grenadiers – formerly known as Team Sky – at several of cycling’s most prestigious stage races, earning multiple podium finishes at the Tour and Giro.

The Welshman will retire at the end of next season and, although there are up to five Grand Tours between now and then, he feels his days of competing for overall victories in these races might be over.

“I think this might be the last time I race for GC [general classification],” he told BBC Sport Wales after effectively securing third place at the Giro following Saturday’s penultimate stage.

“But I’ve been saying that for a few years now and I’m still racing so who knows! Certainly, I have to savour these moments now. I could retire in Rome tomorrow to be honest, but I’ve still got another year and a half left and I am enjoying it.

“When you know the end is coming, you appreciate what you’re doing more because you know you’re privileged to do what we do.”

Thomas finished Saturday’s mountainous penultimate stage of the Giro in seventh position to seal third place in the general classification.

It was a creditable display from the double Olympic gold medallist, who was 28 seconds behind Daniel Martinez in second place overall and more than 10 minutes adrift of runaway winner Tadej Pogacar.

Pogacar stormed to his sixth stage victory of the race on Saturday with another brilliant display of climbing.

Already twice a Tour de France champion at just 25 years old, Pogacar was in sensational form throughout the race and nobody came close to stopping him from clinching his first Giro title.

“Tadej’s just a different level and then it was a big fight for second and third,” said Thomas.

“I’m happy to get third. I was gunning for second, rode as best I could and gave everything every day, which is all I can ask for.

“A lot of people have talked about my age for a few years now and I’ve just thought ‘Nah, it’s an old cliche, it’s just a number’ but it really is. If you really commit to something and your mind is right, you can do it for a long time.

“But I’m feeling every one of those years at the minute! It’s been a long old three weeks.”

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