"Now it’s just every man for himself, dog-eat-dog" - Geraint Thomas says younger riders have no respect for the established hierarchy within the peloton

One of the most experienced riders in the entirety of the peloton, Geraint Thomas has seen a vast change in the attitude of riders within the bunch during his lengthy career in the World Tour.

“It’s completely different. It’s kind of like as if it’s junior or under-23 racing now,” says the former Tour de France winner via Red Bull’s Just Ride podcast. “There’s less respect for each other. Everyone just goes where they want, chopping each other up, whereas before you’d fight for position but it would be a bit more calm. Whereas now it’s just bonkers.”

There used to be a long-standing, unwritten rule within the peloton that saw a hierarchy of respect. Now though, that former order has been completely thrown out according to Thomas. “That respect and that hierarchy in the peloton, it kind of was a good thing in a certain way, but now it’s just every man for himself, dog-eat-dog," he explains. "You’ve got to join them, really.”

“It used to be more chilled, but these days it’s basically full-on from kilometre zero, from the start until the end,” the INEOS Grenadiers stalwart continues. “You see it as four or five hours of concentration. You used to be able to have a chat with your mates or whatever, but now you’re in the zone for four or five hours, and then you chat afterwards. That’s just the way it is.”

As Thomas says though, he has to adapt to continue to thrive and survive. "I think the whole peloton is just more professional, whereas in the past it was just the top 40, 50 guys, but now 300 guys are training properly, eating properly, doing altitude training. The whole team are looking after all their riders rather than just the top three or four, so the depth is a lot better."

“The sport’s just moving on all the time, which is good, but as a more experienced guy you’ve just got to adapt with it. If I was stuck in thinking ‘this is what I did 10 years ago’ then I wouldn’t be able to compete with it, you have to roll with it," he concludes.

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