Geraint was ‘born and bred’ in Birchgrove, Cardiff and attended Whitchurch High School.
He started cycling at the age of 10 at Maindy Leisure Centre with the Maindy Flyers.
‘We would travel all over the UK to races on the track. We’d travel the day before in a mini bus, complete with a ‘boom box’ that one of the lads brought along. It was great fun, we’d camp overnight and then race our bikes the next day’.
Geraint won numerous National Championships as an Under 14 and 16.
‘But I didn’t really believe I could make a living from cycling until I won the junior worlds and Paris-Roubaix in 2004′.
In the same year he won the Carwyn James Junior Award at the BBC Wales sports Personality of the Year.
Geraint then joined the British Olympic Academy for Under 23 riders. He moved up to Manchester and competed in World Cup events around the world. While training in Sydney, Australia, prior to a World Cup he crashed and ruptured his spleen, which he subsequently had removed.
‘We were riding along the road when the guy in front of me clipped some metal debris. It flicked up into my front wheel stopping me dead. I fell forwards, landing on my handle bars which ruptured my spleen’.
He recovered quickly, and was back on his bike racing for the Academy. He turned professional in 2007 when he signed for the South African sponsored Barloworld. During this year he participated in the Tour de France where he was the youngest rider. He was the first Welsh rider to ride the tour since Colin Lewis in 1967. He completed the tour, finishing 140th.
‘It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I have never suffered as much as I did in those 3 weeks. Every night I would think, there’s no way I can go through that again tomorrow. But as soon as you get on the bike the next day, I didn’t want to stop. Completing the tour gave me so much mentally as well as physically’.
In 2008, still with Barloworld, Geraint went to the Beijing Olympics and won a Gold Medal in the Team Pursuit, breaking the world record twice on the way in a time of 3.53:314. Geraint was also a possible contender for the individual pursuit, but opted not to take part as it was the day before the team pursuit.
‘The IP has not crossed my mind during these last 2 years. All I have been training and concentrating on, during this vital period, is the team pursuit. So with 3weeks to go I don’t think it would be right to jeopardize the teams chance, as well as my own, by riding the IP the day before’.
After Geraint’s gold medal he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year’s Honors List. At the start of 2009 Geraint suffered a bad crash during the time Trail stage of Tirreno Adriatico. He misjudged a corner while descending a mountain pass, hit the safety barrier and fell 20 foot to the road below. He fractured his pelvis and broke his scaphoid, a small bone in the wrist. However he ended the year in style. During the Manchester World Cup, he set the fastest time under current rules in the 4 km individual pursuit, finishing in a time of 4 minutes and 15.105 seconds. He went on to win the gold medal in the event, with a comprehensive victory, catching his opponent in the final. On the final day of the world cup, Geraint was a member of the gold medal winning team pursuit, who set the second fastest time in history, and a track record of 3 minutes and 54.395 seconds in the process.
The end of the season also marked the end of Geraint’s time with Barloworld, leaving to join a new British team, Team Sky.
Geraint was also runner up to Ryan Giggs in BBC Welsh Sports Personality.
2010 saw the start of Geraint’s career with Team Sky, and he continued his winning ways with victory in the Team Time Trial in Qatar. The best was yet to come, when he was in the form of his life in June. He wore the green points jersey in the Dauphiene, where he was in the top 10 on the first 4 stages. He then went onto win the National Road Race, leading home a Team Sky 1,2,3, beating Pete Kennaugh and Ian Stannard respectively.
He then went into his second Tour de France wearing the national championship stripes, which was the first time it was in the race since Sean Yates in 1992. ‘It will be amazing to wear the national championship jersey for the next year. Wearing it at the Tour de France, the biggest bike race in the world, makes it even more special’. He started with a bang, finishing 5th in the prologue, before moving to within 20sec of the yellow jersey and 2nd overall after a 2nd place on one of the ‘queen stages’ across the famous cobbles of north France. He wore the white jersey, for the best Under26 rider, for 4 days. He ended his tour with 10th on stage 19s, 50km TT.
In 2012, Thomas was looking to go from strength-to-strength on the road whilst also aiming for a repeat of his gold medal-winning performance on the track at the Olympic Games in London.
He explained: “Obviously the Olympics are my main goal. I’m missing the Classics and the Tour because of that. But I’ve still got a lot of good road racing ahead starting with the Tour Down Under and also the Giro.
“It’s not like I’ll be doing them just for training – I’ll be going there to help someone on the team win, if not go for something myself. But the Olympics and the World Championships on the track are key really.
“I’ve had some good results in 2011 and I think I was more consistent throughout the whole year. I enjoyed it and was really happy in the team. We were going well and had a good unit, especially from Bayern-Rundfahrt onwards. The Classics were great too and hopefully I can just continue that progression.”
Thomas finished 2011 on a high, being a member of the 9 man squad that helped Mark Cavendish to victory in the Men’s World Road Race.
2012 began with the Tour Down Under, before his attentions turned firmly to the track and his second trip to Australia for the World Championships. Thomas chose to miss the Spring Classics in order to concentrate on the team pursuit;
“Missing the Spring Classics, in particular Flanders, was a big decision for me. These are my favourite races, and they’re definitely races that I think I can do well in.”
This decision was worthwhile as the GB team beat the favourites for the title, Australia, in a new world record time.
Again, Thomas chose to miss another of his favourite races, the Tour de France, to concentrate on the Olympics;
“The track is so specific these days that the 10 days between finishing the Tour and racing would not have given me enough time to prepare the way I want to. Winning gold in London is my main target this year, and I don’t want to do anything that could jeopardise that.”
The GB quartet smashed their own team pursuit world record, set in the world championships, qualifying fastest in the Olympics. They strolled to victory against Denmark in the semi-finals, and in the much anticipated GB v Australia final, they dominated the race setting a new world record of 3.51.659, beating the Australians by almost 3 seconds. The five fastest team pursuit times ever ridden were all done by a team that contained Thomas.
“We’ve talked about it for so long, so to finally achieve what we set out to do, and to do it at our home Olympics is the most incredible feeling. To win with my mates, and have my girlfriend, family and best mates all there watching just made it even more special. I know I’ll remember those moments forever.”