Geraint Thomas Shows Why He’s One Of Wales’ True Sporting Heroes . . . Even As The Giro Title Slips From Grasp

Anyone in any doubts about the status of Geraint Thomas as one of the most popular Welsh sports stars of all time, need only to have glanced at social media over the weekend.

There was a lot of love for G.

Love for his talent, love for his pride in representing his country on the international stage, and love for his sportsmanship, loyalty, humour and general all-round decency even during his greatest disappointments.

Former Tour de France winner Thomas finished runner-up at the Giro d’Italia, having had the lead snatched cruelly away from him in the penultimate stage by rival Primoz Roglic.

That was on the Saturday afternoon. By Saturday evening, he was paying generous tributes to Roglic in endless interviews, thanking his own Ineos Grenadiers teammates for their efforts, paying tribute to the dozens of Welsh fans who waved flags and lined the Italian mountain roads, and generally acting like a 37-year-old husband and father with a deep and healthy sense of perspective.

By Sunday – a day he had hoped to win the tour in Rome – the former Maindy Flyer cyclist was chatting with Roglic as the two rode side-by-side towards the Italian capital.

Thomas then did something no-one had expected, not even himself. Finding his old Team Sky and GB teammate Mark Cavendish in need of support, he hit the front of the race and enabled Cavendish to win the sprint to the line to claim a stage victory in his final season before retirement.

“I was just there and I saw they only had Luis León [Sanchez] with him and I thought ‘help a brother out’,” said Thomas.

He will be out of contract with Ineos Grenadiers at the end of the year but has indicated he wants to continue for a minimum of two more seasons.

“I’m still competitive, I still love racing and I enjoy the argy-bargy of a sprint sometimes. I’ll just keep doing it as long as I love it.

“I’ll try and sort out the future in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to do more than two (years) I don’t think but saying that, I said I wouldn’t go on after this year.”

While Thomas has vowed to bounce back from defeat, so, too, have Glamorgan’s cricketers who lost their Vitality T20 Blast match to Somerset at the weekend.

A four-wicket defeat has left Glamorgan with a one win and one loss record from their opening two games.

“We’ve got to be smarter through that latter middle phase of our innings and accelerate with as little risk as possible which is the jeopardy of T20 cricket,” said head coach Mark Alleyne.

Glamorgan were also paying tribute at the weekend to their former bowler Lawrence Williams, who died at the age of 76.

Williams was a member of the legendary 1969 Glamorgan team that won the County Championship.