After all the kerfuffle about aero helmets and snoods, Geraint Thomas sat down to explain how he managed to ride the opening time trial of the 2022 Tour de France wearing a most unaero garment — the humble gilet.
Speaking to Ineos Grenadiers teammate Luke Rowe on their Watts Occurring podcast yesterday evening, road captain Rowe set the scene.
"We're in a team that spends hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, on aerodynamics?" he explained. "And on the biggest stage, biggest race, Geraint goes to the startline a bit chilly, so he sticks his nice warm gilet on. Not the most aerodynamic bit of kit, but you were nice and warm, weren't you?"
> Yves Lampaert uploads Tour de France TT win to Strava... under 'John Deere' tractor alias
The gilet, an extra small at least, was not noticed by the 2018 yellow jersey winner, a soigneur looking after the rider, nor the mechanic tasked with aiding Thomas up the slippery ramp to the start house.
"Neither of them notice either. It's not their fault I should have known I had a...fucking gilet on," a frustrated G told his amused teammate.
"After a while I was like 'ah shit I've still got this thermal gilet on'. I was half tempted to take it off."
Thomas opted against removing the clothing on the fly, fearing the thought of crashing during the biggest TT of the year (so far) because he'd forgot to take a body warmer off. But it wasn't just the excess clothing slowing him down.
"Everyone was saying take it easy, don't lose it all today, but to be honest I wasn't even bothered about GC today I just wanted to do a good ride. It just got in my head and I rode so slow around these corners. It was so bad," he continued.
"I was cornering like my wife — she hasn't ridden a bike in 12 years. That was the worst first half of a time trial I've ever done.
"I was 18 seconds down at the first time check and I was like 'fuck this' and just took the pin out and raced it as I normally would. I was still cautious but just flowed a bit better and put the power down on the straights. The legs were really good which makes it worse because I could have been right up there.
"It's a bit raw at the minute, I'm still a bit angry."
An improved second half of the TT saw Thomas finish 18th, 25 seconds behind stage winner Yves Lampaert and 18 seconds behind Tadej Pogačar.
Rowe, who sailed through the Copenhagen puddles to 169th out of 176 recalled the moment everyone on the Ineos team bus realised the clothing blunder: "We were on the bus watching and it didn't show you coming off the ramp and Brad [Wiggins] on the bike said 'here with Geraint Thomas, he's actually wearing a body warmer which must be a sign he's not going full gas today' and we were like 'hang on, what?!'
But could the aero gilet be the next marginal gain? (Spoiler alert: probably not)...
"I'm making out like it was a mistake but I'm also a lot faster when I'm wearing that," Thomas joked. "Stage 20 everyone's going to have gilets on."
I read your reply first, and so looked forward to reading the fireworks that had prompted such a response. Imagine my disappointment when all I...
I know! I've mentioned this before on here but in firearms training one of the first thing's one's told is that if you make an error that could...
Bike jackings -was rife in South Africa when i left and probably still is. Sad state of affairs, I hope the rider heals up quickly and suffers no...
Dogma from 2013. Maybe these are like Porsches, all look the same but some are more classic than others?
Ah the old Bradley Terry model. An improvement to the Bradley Wiggins one. I'm not sure I really follow the methodology or if it is reliable.
Isn't that to show how rugged and manly the devices are though?
What about Miguel Indurain?
Wow! I dream of getting 6,000km out of a chain! My bike has only just cleared 5,000km...
Maybe we need to take a note out of the drivists playbook and label the lack of secure bike storage as discriminatory against the disabled
Well, I passed this lot yesterday and they seemed to be enjoying the ride... (apparently it was the national chopper convention or something!).