On a brisk Monday morning, cycling aficionados may have been intrigued to read that Geraint Thomas, a name synonymous with the rigours of professional cycling and the monumental triumph of winning the Tour de France, has candidly revealed an affinity for indulging in alcoholic beverages outside the competitive season. In a revelation to Cyclingnews, Thomas conceded that his recent fortnight had seen him inebriated on twelve out of fourteen nights since his return to Cardiff. Such is the stark contrast between the disciplined in-season regime and off-season liberation.
The Off-Season Revelry
Thomas, who rides under the banner of INEOS Grenadiers, explained the social dynamics that come into play during his downtime. Meeting friends is often synonymous with a trip to the pub, a custom he has embraced wholeheartedly post-season. The 37-year-old Welshman articulated that while his tolerance for drink may wane at the onset of his respite, his capacity for consuming alcohol has impressively rebounded.
Thomas reflected on this immersive drinking culture as part and parcel of British or perhaps Australian heritage, underlining a social tradition of youthful revelry that has persisted into his adult life. Yet, he acknowledged the necessity of this outburst, sensing an impending need to remount his bicycle and reestablish a sense of structure in his daily routine.
Generational Shift in Cycling
Turning to the emergent generation of cyclists, Thomas observed a palpable shift in off-season behaviour amongst his younger counterparts. He noted that it has become increasingly rare to see a young cyclist partake in drinking. This, according to Thomas, is indicative of an evolving mindset within the sport, where every aspect of training and living is quantified and pursued with year-round dedication, with no pause even when competitions cease. Ascetic in their pursuits, these young riders might swap their bikes for running shoes to compete in marathons during what used to be a time of recuperation and relaxation.
The Weighting Game
Addressing his own post-season physical state, Thomas acknowledged a gain in weight, tipping the scales at 75 kilograms, a figure he intends to whittle down to 68.5 kilograms as the competitive season looms. He proclaimed the process to be gradual and, at times, challenging, stressing the continued effort required to maintain peak physical condition. The discipline of training, while demanding, pales in comparison to the constancy of dietary restrictions. Thomas, no stranger to the ardour of intense training sessions replete with intervals that test one’s mettle, noted the relative ease of cycling compared to the relentless nature of managing one’s weight.