August 2010 Sport Wales video feature - Delhi Dreams: Geraint Thomas
By Geraint Thomas
Olympic champion cyclist
This year, 2010, has been a great 12 months for me.
It is now my fourth campaign as a professional cyclist but it felt as though I was starting again because I joined Team Sky, the new British team. The expectations, and therefore pressure, around the team were huge.
In fact, there was just as much fuss over the bus as there was over the actual racing!
It all started with a win in the team time trial at the start of February in the Tour of Qatar, which was great for me as it was my first professional win.
But once the season begins, the races just seem to fly by, though it feels as though you are constantly on the road.
The highlight was the Tour de France; the whole of my year was geared towards this.
To be honest, we were disappointed as a team, but personally it went really well. From the start in the prologue, to my second place and stint in the white jersey, to the final time trial. Even in the mountains I had a couple of good days when I was climbing with the likes of Robert Gesink and Cadel Evans, which I never would have expected.
But the final part of the season feels like it has fizzled out.
I pulled out of the World Championships in Australia because I did not feel that I would be at my best for the race.
It is one of the hardest one-day races on the calendar, so to go all the way to Melbourne knowing I was only at 75% just did not seem right. Also, the GB team will only have three riders in the race, which would put added responsibility on the guys riding to perform at their best.
Once I made this decision, all my attention turned to the Commonwealth Games.
In cycling terms, the Games may not have the status of the Olympics or World Championships, but to me they still mean a lot. It is the only chance I get to put on a Welsh jersey and race for my country. For the last year the Commonwealths have been in the back of my mind.
When the news about the hygiene and safety in Delhi came out, it was a massive disappointment. I spoke to the guys on the GB and Sky teams about the risks of getting ill out there.
The fact that I had my spleen (which helps fight infections) removed means the chances of catching something would be greater and recovering from it, longer.
It may be different if I was doing just the one event, where I could 'drop in', race and fly out. But I would be there for a good two weeks for the track and road events. So I eventually made the decision not to go.
I still wish I was travelling to Delhi to try to better my bronze medal from Melbourne in 2006. But at the end of the day, my health is the most important thing.
If I did get ill and missed my winter training it would have a major knock-on effect on next year and the London Olympics in 2012.
I have now finished racing for the year and am going to take a good break, though I will still ride my bike because I enjoy it too much not to. I also have some commentary work to look forward to on BBC Radio 5 live, as well as a column in Cycling Weekly, talking about the Commonwealth Games results.
But I will not start training seriously until November.
I would like to wish the guys in Melbourne and the Welsh Team in Delhi a massive "Pob lwc", which means "good luck" in Welsh.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.