Geraint Thomas has said that not participating in this year's Tour de France was one of his "best decisions".
The Welsh cyclist is currently preparing for the Giro D'Italia after he missed out on a place in Team Ineos' 2020 Tour de France squad.
He has described how being in lockdown affected his mentality and preparation for the event, eventually saying that he didn't feel ready to participate in the biggest bike race in the world this time around.
Speaking to ITV Wales' Beth Fisher, he discusses how he feels now, what his plans are for the future and the benefits of being at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Being in lockdown with his family
As a professional cyclist Geraint admitted that it is hard to find enough time to stay at home with his family over long periods, but when speaking to Beth he said he had enjoyed some elements of lockdown with his wife and newborn child.
Geraint married Sara Thomas in 2015 and the pair had a son, Max in 2019.
"I would never get to have the time with them and I was able to have 60 days which was really nice," he continued.
"I think from the family side of things you realise that there is more to life. Cycling was the main part of my life and now I have Max that is completely different.
"It has made going away to race a bit harder in some ways because I am missing his first birthday and my wife’s 30th."
Tour de France omission
He had represented Team Ineos, formerly Team Sky, at the Tour de France 10 times before.
However, he believes that not participating in the event this time around may have been the best decision following a topsy-turvy year.
"It has been a nice change really because I have done the tour a lot and it has been nice to do something different . Hopefully we can make the most of it," he continued.
"I feel good now. This race has been a lot better, I didn’t feel 100% racing a few weeks ago in France hence the decision to not do the Tour.
"I felt like I needed a bit more racing to get in to top shape. I think this event will do well for me."
Geraint finished second overall in the Tirreno–Adriatico after a strong finish in the latter stages of the event.
The race as a warm-up event before the Giro that begins on October 3.
Because he was not participating in the Tour de France, Geraint was able to train solely for the Italian race. Something which he says he has thoroughly enjoyed.
"I think I am pretty close to my best," he continued.
"My training is good and my weight is good. I am looking forward to it and I think it could be successful.
"If I can get some good time in the time trials and then defend in the mountains I could do okay."
At the age of 34, Geraint joked with Beth that he is "getting on a bit", but there is no sign of him slowing down in the near future.
Outlining his ambition to compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next year, Geraint said he expected it to be tough getting in British Cycling's squad for the games.
"I need to try and get in the team because the cycling team is very strong at the moment, but hopefully I can," the two-time Olympic gold medallist said.
"I was planning to go this year but it was obviously rescheduled.
"I think the motivation was there with training, but lockdown was a strange one. To perform at the highest level in these events you have to be really switched on and training everyday and that was tough but I am feeling better now."
You can watch Beth Fisher's full interview with Geraint Thomas here