Geraint Thomas considers quitting track after London Olympics

By Graham ThomasBBC Wales Sport

Olympic team pursuit champion Geraint Thomas says the 2012 London Games could be his track cycling swan song.

The 25-year-old Welshman wore the white jersey for best young rider in the opening seven stages at this year's Tour de France.

Thomas, part of the Great Britain team that helped Mark Cavendish win the world road race title, is set to focus on road racing after the Olympics.

"That could then be the end of my time on the track," he said.

"Four years is a long time in sport, anyway, and for a year or so after the London Olympics I will be totally on the road.

"I will probably ride the Tour of Spain two weeks after the Olympic final, so it will be straight back to the day job."

Thomas claimed his first professional winexternal-link at the Bayern-Rundfahrt race in Germany in 2011 before finishing 31st, the highest-placed British rider, at the Tour de France.

But Thomas is now scheduled to return to track cycling.

The Cardiff rider struck gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and broke the team pursuit world record in the process, alongside Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Paul Manning.

Britain, former world champions are vying with Australia and Russia for the Olympic title in London next year, but Thomas says the two versions of the sport are now difficult to combine over a long period.

"The track is so specific these days," Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.

"It's much faster. In fact we pedal at 30 revs per minute faster than we do on the road.

"It's a lot punchier and so you need to spend a good deal of time on the track to get that back."

Thomas has confirmed he is unlikely to compete in the major road races next year, including the Tour de France, such is the need to specialise.

He said: "I will have to sacrifice the Tour de France and the classics, which are the biggest races I can do on the road. I love racing those races, but the Olympics is huge for me next year.

"So, if it means missing those races to ride at the Games then I'll have to do that.

"It's not decided for definite, but it's looking that way. I will sit down with my coaches and decide the best plan of attack, but I don't want to jeopardise the Olympics in any way.

"An Olympics in London, it doesn't get any bigger than that. That's the main goal for me next year."

You can watch the full interview with Geraint Thomas on Sport Wales, BBC Two Wales from 2100 BST on Friday, 7 October.