Geraint Thomas is preparing to sign a new contract with Ineos Grenadiers after long and “difficult” negotiations.
The 2018 Tour de France champion’s existing contract will expire at the end of this year.
Thomas, 35, has sparked interest from other teams but is set to sign a two-year contract with Ineos, the team he has represented since 2010.
“It’s pretty much over but it’s still not signed so I don’t want to curse him,” Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.
” It’s difficult. I had to separate the emotional side from the business side of things.
“I knew Dave [Brailsford, Ineos team boss] since 2003 and this relationship is obviously good but he has his bosses and his agenda and there is me and what my family wants.
“So it was tough. It was the worst [contract] to do again because a lot has happened but I’m glad it’s finally almost done.
“Once it’s announced we can move on and I can focus on my fitness and my bike. “
Thomas, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has been with Ineos since the team was founded in 2010, when it was called Sky Procycling.
He signed his current contract on improved terms in 2018 shortly after winning the Tour de France, where he finished second the following year.
Thomas’ last two seasons have been disrupted by accidents and subsequent injuries, denying him the opportunity to compete in other Grand Tour titles.
The Welshman remains a respected and influential figure in Ineos, and he won the Tour de Romandie earlier this year.
However, he faces competition from teammates such as Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz to lead the team in future Grand Tours.
Now that Thomas is entering the final years of his career, the Ineos contract he is about to sign could be his last.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist began planning his life after competitive cycling after having started a charitable trust make sport more accessible to young people from all walks of life.
And while retirement is on Thomas’ mind, he still has a burning desire to race at the highest level.
“In two or three years I’ll be done, which is a weird thought, so I really want to enjoy my last few years of racing,” said Thomas.
“And to take advantage of it, I have to be at the forefront to win.
“The closer you get to the stop, the more it [retirement] is at the back of your mind.
“Confidence, once I come back here [at home in Wales] full time and stopping the race will become even more important.
“With retirement it’s something I think about so it’s not a shock.
“It’s a big change from being 17 or 18 having a big goal that you train yourself to suddenly wake up on a Monday morning and think ‘What should I do now? “.
“It’s something I think about, but running is always at the forefront of my mind. “