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Welsh rider considering 4 or 5 options; Edvald Boasson Hagen also thinking about future

Geraint Thomas says he is considering a move away from Team Sky for the 2015 season, although he hasn’t ruled out staying at the British WorldTour outfit.

Thomas, 27, told BBC Sport Wales that he expects to make a decision on his future within the next week, and that he is thinking about four or five options, including an extension of his contract with Team Sky.

“There’s been a lot of interest - a lot of teams are keen,” explained Thomas.

Thomas said in March that he saw his future in stage racing rather than the Classics, and spent two days in the leader’s jersey at Paris-Nice before abandoning following a crash on the penultimate stage, when he was lying second overall.

At the end of that month, he finished third at the E3 Haralbeke and last month secured top ten finishes at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“I’m obviously speaking to Sky at the moment and I think it should be sorted this week with where I go,” said Thomas, who joined the team from Barloworld for its debut season in 2010.

“Obviously Sky is a great team but I think it’s good to have a look at other teams and what they have to offer.

“It gives your confidence a boost when there’s three or four teams that have offered you a good contract, so interesting times,” he said.

Should Thomas decide to head elsewhere, the earliest any move can be announced under UCI rules is 1 August.

At that point, Thomas will be in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games where he is competing for Wales in the time trial on 31 July and the road race on 3 August.

Another member of Sky’s Classics squad has been linked with a move away from the team, with reports that Edvald Boasson Hagen may join BMC Racing.

However, according to the website of Norway’s TV2, Boasson Hagen, who is in Sky’s squad for the Giro d’Italia, says that reports he has already agreed a contract with BMC are wide of the mark and there is a 50-50 chance he will stay with his existing team.

Missing from the start of the Giro in Belfast on Friday will be Sky’s Peter Kennaugh, who was forced to withdraw as he continues his recovery from a virus. Kennaugh will be replaced by CJ Sutton.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

22 comments

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aslongasicycle [389 posts] 3 years ago
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G needs to leave Sky to progress. He's stagnating (really high class stagnation, mind), as is Hoassen Boasen.

BMC seems a strange place for Edvald. Even more big chefs not quite performing as they were to compete against. He needs a team where he's outright leader, and full support. Belkin seems a good choice, though he'd be alongside Vanmarcke in cobbled classics. Maybe Garmin too. Though is he free-spirited enough?

I reckon G should go to Orica Greenedge. A great team, good vibes and lots of excellent support. If he goes for GC, he may butt heads with a few more riders than the classics, but he should be WINNING classics, not placing well. Garmin would also suit him. OPQS would be an awesome education, but he'd be one of many many superb riders. He'd learn his trade though. Big style.

All easy armchair opinions!

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RobD [450 posts] 3 years ago
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It must be a nice situation to be in to be courted by several teams, I definitely agree about BMC not being neccessarily the best team for EBH to go to, unless they have some riders leaving, it seems to be a team with a lot of big name riders who don't quite have a complete plan of attack.
I would be surprised if Geraint left Sky, it'd have to be a bit of a big offer, unless Sky have told him he won't get any shots at big GC races while Froome, Porte etc are going well.

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kobacom [100 posts] 3 years ago
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Needs to stay upright a little more often if he wants to win.

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Gkam84 [9100 posts] 3 years ago
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I have to agree, G needs to get into a team where he can progress and have chances at some tours rather then just being a team player and backing others up.

He's not a grand tour challenger yet, but he could easily be given time, training and the right team, Orica would be a good team, but they have quite a few youngsters they are trying to blood in tour racing at the moment, just look at the Yates brothers.

I would suggest looking beyond the "top" few teams like Garmin and BMC.

He needs a team with ambition, that is going to build him a nice few riders to help him and have the resources to do it. AG2R, FDJ or Europcar would be where I would be looking.

The reason I would look at them, they have a few standout riders each, but they could do with another, rather than just mucking about in breaks and the odd win, they need tour winners.

A few Sky riders seem to be looking around, rats from a sinking ship or just natural progression?

Once Wiggo and Froome are done with, where is the future? Uran gone, Henao doing something or other. G and EBH looking to go. Porte getting on in years....

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Simmo72 [647 posts] 3 years ago
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I think Greenedge would suit but I think next year Sky will be a bit different, I expect they will lose a few of their big riders this year so maybe its an opportunity for GT to progress up the team ranks. But he'll never get a crack at the tour in the next 4 years, and that is probably the main deciding factor - assuming that is his long term goal -.

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Stumps [3469 posts] 3 years ago
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He never will be a GC contender on GT's, he just doesn't have the total package.

He is a brilliant rider and in my opinion should concentrate purely on the classics or the less hillier week tours as his climbing skills aren't upto high mountain stages when you have the likes of JRod, Nibs et al.

If he leaves good luck to him as he has worked hard for Sky but i think he will still be here next season. As for EBH, he has promised so much and i started a post off about him a while ago asking whether he was the "real deal". In the end though he hasn't set the world alight, some great rides, but mostly just top 10 placings.

If both were to leave the likes of IAM or Giant for both of them would be decent moves.

As for the future with Sky they will no doubt move in for other top riders, TJ at BMC is not happy according to reports and Quintana is great mates with Henao so you never know.

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Simmo72 [647 posts] 3 years ago
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At 27 we would have never put Wiggins down as a tour contender, and 3 years ago if someone said Froome will be a tour winner you would have laughed. GT has much more potential than we have seen o date, I wouldn't put it past his talent to become a successful GC overall rider...though I think he could win a lot in the classics.

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northstar [1107 posts] 3 years ago
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Want to know what delusion is like? Seems you should see above...

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Leviathan [2598 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

A few Sky riders seem to be looking around, rats from a sinking ship or just natural progression?

Once Wiggo and Froome are done with, where is the future? Uran gone, Henao doing something or other. G and EBH looking to go. Porte getting on in years....

Sky is not short of a few bob to bring in new talent, nor are they short of it. And as for 'Froome being done with' (paraphrase) nothing could be further from the truth; you will be waiting and hoping for a few years just yet, Keith.

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Gkam84 [9100 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:

A few Sky riders seem to be looking around, rats from a sinking ship or just natural progression?

Once Wiggo and Froome are done with, where is the future? Uran gone, Henao doing something or other. G and EBH looking to go. Porte getting on in years....

Sky is not short of a few bob to bring in new talent, nor are they short of it. And as for 'Froome being done with' (paraphrase) nothing could be further from the truth; you will be waiting and hoping for a few years just yet, Keith.

I didn't mean they were finished this year, I'm just looking where their next GT riders are coming from, it takes years to become a GT contender, it is rare from a rider to come in (unless from another Pro team) and just be a GT rider right off the bat.

Sky need to start blooding youngsters in the smaller tours, but they are sticking by the older guys and adding to their victories. The young guys need a chance.

I am thinking Boswell, Dombrowski, Edmondson and Rowe

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Welsh boy [360 posts] 3 years ago
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I would love to have one tenth the ability of G (apart from his ability to crash on a regular basis) so this is not critisism and only my thoughts but I dont think that he will ever be a GT contender and should concentrate on the Classics and one week stage races. Sky would be and ideal place for him, they really need a classics specialist to be the complete team. If he leaves I think the pressure he will find himself under to perform will result in a seriously shortened career.

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aslongasicycle [389 posts] 3 years ago
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Welsh boy wrote:

Sky would be and ideal place for him, they really need a classics specialist to be the complete team. If he leaves I think the pressure he will find himself under to perform will result in a seriously shortened career.

He's a multiple Olympic Gold medalist. If he didn't seek pressure or wasn't ambitious he wouldn't be here. Every rider at this level wants the best from themselves and their career. I can't see how his career could be shortened by one team rather than another. More or less successful, sure. But winning riders win more. And hang on for longer.

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Simon E [3041 posts] 3 years ago
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I took the headline to mean that he was making sure he has a bargaining tool so he gets what he's worth at Sky. I hope he does.

I can't see G finding a team better tailored to him, either on a personal level or for making the best of his abilities (and surely it's the team most likely to allow him the chance to try for a place in the TP quartet in Rio if he wants).

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step-hent [724 posts] 3 years ago
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I can see both sides of this - @aslongasicycle has it absolutely right that he must be ambitious and driven and therefore wants to win as much as possible, and he'll look for wherever suits that best. But I reckon @Simon E also has it right - a contract discussion goes much less smoothly for the rider if they have only one option, so a well timed interview airing the other options is very helpful.

For my money, he'd make a better classics rider than a tour rider, but I do see him a lot like Wiggins - he could be good at whatever he puts his full focus on. At the moment, he's never really had full focus on the road and been team leader, for either classics or a long tour. I could see him winning Roubaix, or Flanders - and Sky really need someone to focus on that - but I can also see that if he wants to focus on longer races then he might well get a chance. Froome will focus on the Tour each year and he can always get injured anyway. Porte is looking like Froome's right hand man, and I can't see Sky letting him give up that role for a chance at a GT for himself. They'll pay him enough to make sure that doesn't happen, or he'll go elsewhere. Which leaves a few gaps opening up for long tour riders. In summary, I reckon he'll stay at Sky and we'll see him losing weight and having a crack at either the Giro or Vuelta in the coming years.

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yenrod [107 posts] 3 years ago
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My 2 peneth is that it all started going wrong for him, after the stage into roubaix 2010 - couldve got the staqe but no, sat on because he was riding for his leader ??????

The directors of Sky is direly awfull - if they didnt have Froome what would the plan B this year ?

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yenrod [107 posts] 3 years ago
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He said the same last year; see what the offers are like..and then stayed ! Though i feel EBH will go.

Cummings class rider, I know - he used to ride away from us on the the chainy..left; WHERE would he be now if he'd have stayed ?

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Welsh boy [360 posts] 3 years ago
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aslongasicycle wrote:

But winning riders win more. And hang on for longer.

That is my point, if he ends up with a team where he paid to get the results himself and isnt I cant see him hanging on for too long.

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mikefreer [17 posts] 3 years ago
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I think G has the potential to be a grand tour winner in the future, and as Team Sky concentrate mostly on the grand tours, why not stay with them.

Would be a shame to see him go tho, such a talented rider with great potential.

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TheHound [117 posts] 3 years ago
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I think Thomas will still be at Sky and is using this to give them a kick up the backside and a few extra sheep added to the contact.

EBH has had Sky's full backing in the classics for a couple years and has done bugger all. Had other people but been forced to ride for him Sky could have had a few more classics wins.

I'd be kicking him out rather than waiting for him to go.

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giobox [361 posts] 3 years ago
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TheHound wrote:

I think Thomas will still be at Sky and is using this to give them a kick up the backside and a few extra sheep added to the contact.

EBH has had Sky's full backing in the classics for a couple years and has done bugger all. Had other people but been forced to ride for him Sky could have had a few more classics wins.

I'd be kicking him out rather than waiting for him to go.

In fairness, Boasson Hagen was pretty instrumental in getting Stannard to Sky's only classics win ever at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in March, taking third in the process, not a bad days work.

It's true he hasn't delivered the results that match the promise of his abilities, which is a shame, but if you are talking about hypothetical sackings at team Sky there are others you would ditch long before you got to Boasson Hagen. Sky's myopic focus on grand tours has more to do with their abysmal record at the classics than anything else.

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Simmo72 [647 posts] 3 years ago
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A lot will depend on what Richie Porte does. He's the other grand tour contendor. GT given the right support could also be a green jersey contendor in the same style as sagan, but he won't get that road with sky.

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giobox [361 posts] 3 years ago
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Norweigan papers are also apparently now reporting that Boasson Hagen to BMC is a done deal.

However UCI rules on transfers mean the teams would have to keep any deal under wraps till August.