Double Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas dropped by Team GB for Paris

<span>Geraint Thomas is a veteran of four Olympics and a surprise omission from the Team GB squad.</span><span>Photograph: Pierre Teyssot/Action Plus/Shutterstock</span>
Geraint Thomas is a veteran of four Olympics and a surprise omission from the Team GB squad.Photograph: Pierre Teyssot/Action Plus/Shutterstock

Geraint Thomas, the double ­Olympic gold medallist, Tour de France winner and Britain’s most consistent performer in Grand Tour stage ­racing, has been dropped from Team GB’s lineup for the Paris Olympics. The 38-year-old Welshman, winner of the 2018 Tour and third overall in the Giro d’Italia this year, is a surprise omission from the five-rider selection for the men’s road race and individual time trial events.

Stephen Park, British Cycling’s performance director, said of Thomas that “in his time-trialling, he’s not been in great form in our view”, ­adding: “We try to think carefully and consider all the evidence in front of us. Clearly he had a good Giro and is in the [Ineos Grenadiers] Tour de France team. But there is some incredible competition and in the road race we have only four riders we can pick.”

Related: ‘It’s not like I lost it’: Geraint Thomas on the Giro, crashes and a last Olympic hurrah

In recent years Thomas has been the only British rider to rival the serial champions Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard in Grand Tour stage racing. He was third in the 2022 Tour de France and second in the 2023 Giro, as well as coming third in the latter in May. “We decided that the younger riders would be in better form getting to the end of the Tour, physically and mentally,” Park said. “With a one-day race, it’s different and Geraint will be at the end of a very long season by the time he gets there.”

Thomas, a veteran of four Olympic Games and a gold medallist in the team pursuit at Beijing in 2008 and London 2012, told the Guardian in April: “I’d love to do one more Olympics, but I don’t want to go and just get another tracksuit. I want to be good enough to be in with a shout of a medal. I’ve got four tracksuits already – I don’t need another one.”

Despite his podium finish in the Giro, in what was acknowledged as one of the hardest Grand Tours for many years, Thomas’s experience and consistency was not enough to secure a fifth Olympic appearance.

Thomas’s Ineos Grenadiers teammates Ethan Hayter and Josh ­Tarling, both recently crowned ­British national champions, and the Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Tom Pidcock, also a stage winner in the 2022 Tour de France, are included. They are joined by Stephen Williams, winner this season of La Flèche ­Wallonne, and the former British road race champion Fred Wright.

The women’s road team will not be confirmed until 4 July but is likely to include the British road race champion, Pfeiffer Georgi, the British time‑trial champion, Anna ­Henderson, and the London 2012 silver medallist Lizzie Deignan.

Despite his top‑three finish in the Giro, Thomas will not be a designated leader either in the Tour de France, which starts in Florence on ­Saturday. His Ineos Grenadiers team will by led by Spain’s Carlos ­Rodríguez, fifth overall in 2023, and Colombian climber, Egan Bernal, winner in Paris in 2019.

“Carlos has continued to impress us with his racing as well as his ­professionalism, on and off the bike,” the performance director, Scott Drawer, said.

Thomas, who will be starting his 13th Tour, is cited as “providing support” to Rodríguez and Bernal. “I didn’t know how I would feel after the Giro and getting back to training,” he said, “as I have never done the Giro-Tour double before. I thought it would be really hard to stay on it, but I’ve actually enjoyed it and got some good work done.”