"It's insane how talented he is" - Geraint Thomas lauds Tadej Pogacar as the best he's ever raced with

Although he perhaps wasn't at his very best on stage 20 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia, Geraint Thomas used all his experience to manage his efforts and secure himself third position in the general classification.

"I've had better days!" an exhausted Thomas laughs in his post-stage interview. "But no, it was okay. We were lucky with the weather in the end so I was happy with that for a start. Then to be honest, I felt pretty average all day, especially before the climb. I was a bit like 'oh, this could be a terrible birthday.' But I managed to regroup and it was actually okay."

Although he would have started the day hoping to move up to 2nd, when Maglia Rosa Tadej Pogacar made his inevitable attack, Thomas was immediately put into difficulty and as such, had no chance of gaining time on former teammate, Daniel Martinez. "I had to let the wheel go when Pog went. I just had to ride my own pace. Fortunately, I was with Ben O'Connor and his teammate, who did a really good ride to the top," he recalls. "I knew I had two and half minutes on Tiberi so I didn't want to go too hard on the descent, just followed and it was all pretty under control I guess."

As he mentioned, with stage 20 falling on his 38th birthday, barring any disasters on stage 21 around Rome, Thomas will be extending his own record as the eldest man ever to finish the Giro d'Italia on the podium in the long and storied history of the Grand Tour. "Phwoar I'm feeling every year of my 38 years now," he says with a wry smile. "I think the whole race, myself and the team have done our best and we've ridden well, there was just nothing more I could do really to overtake Dani. Great ride by him."

"Everyone has always gone on about my age for quite a while now and I've never really seen the fuss. But now, yeah. 38 is pretty old for a professional cyclist isn't it," he concludes. "Pogacar is the best I've raced with I think and I've raced with a lot of good guys. He's so versatile and aggressive and all year round as well. It's not just like me where it's only a couple months a year you're good. It's insane how talented he is."

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