Team Sky rider back at the Classics ahead of Tour de France
After skipping the Classics in 2017, Geraint Thomas will return to take on Paris-Roubaixand Liège-Bastogne-Liège next season.
The Welshman, who confirmed his participation and leadership hopes for next year’s Tour de France in an interview with Cyclingnews last week, has also outlined the rest of his early season ambitions.
Unlike in previous years, he will not begin his season in Australia at the Tour Down Under, and will instead make a later debut at the Volta ao Algarve in the spring. Tirreno-Adriatico will also feature on his programme, before he returns to altitude training.
He will miss the bulk of the early spring cobbled races, including the Tour of Flanders, but will return for Paris-Roubaix in a Team Sky line-up that will also include Ian Stannard and Gianni Moscon.
"There are a lot of big races in the build up to the Tour, so I’ll start with Algarve, then do Tirenno and then do some training camps. Then I’ll come back and ride Paris-Roubaix, which is exciting. With the cobbled stage in the Tour it’s a good excuse to go back and ride that Monument," he told Cyclingnews.
"It’s a race that I love, along with Flanders, but I’ll be in Tenerife then. It won’t be ideal preparation but everyone knows that anything can happen in Roubaix. I just want to be there in the final and help Stannard and Moscon. That’ll be exciting. Then I’ll do Liège, [the Tour de] Romandie, the [Critérium du] Dauphiné and then Tour. It’s a lot of big races. I’m raring to go."
Thomas sat down with Team Sky’s management last week to finalise his programme. He will have a free role at the Tour de France but a lot will depend on Chris Froome’s future, with the four-time winner currently building a defence after returning an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the Vuelta a España. Froome could be cleared but he could also face up to two years out of the sport with a ban.
For now, Thomas is just focusing on the element he can control.
"I left the meeting excited. They said that if I’m looking better and feeling stronger then they will support me," he said.
"Time will tell with that, I guess, but I’m excited about the Tour and the races leading up to that."