Being based around the Nice and Monaco area for several years, INEOS Grenadiers have a very compact base around the south of France and a lot of influence when it comes to the sports bubble. Whilst many riders take holidays into other parts of the world, Geraint Thomas has taken the opportunity to train with a professional football team.
"It was like being a kid again," the Welshman shared with CyclingWeekly, after training with the OGC Nice team. "Most cyclists have two left feet. I wanted to have a proper game. That's where you'd really see it. You'd get to see everyone. But I think they were worried some of use would get injured, which for sure we would.
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Alongside compatriot Luke Rowe, both are very keen football fans and keep up with the sport almost the same way as cycling. Several of INEOS' riders were invited on a recent session with the team. "I'm going to have to say that I was one of the best," Thomas said however, jokingly. With the World Cup in Qatar starting very soon, football is very much at the center of attention for many, and he's been asked regarding the competition.
“Obviously there are other things around [the tournament], you know the human rights and all that stuff. I kind of feel sorry for some of the boys. There’s so much pressure on them to be megastars and do this and do that, but at the end of the day, you just want to perform and you don’t really think of the politics," he concluded.