Thomas eyeing Tour defence

02 Jan 2019

Thomas eyeing Tour defence

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Geraint Thomas has outlined the Tour de France as his key objective for 2019.

The Welshman has his sights set on returning to the Tour at 100% to defend his title.
 
Thomas, who was recently awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours, is excited about racing with the number one on his back at Le Tour, before heading to the Yorkshire World Championships and racing on British soil.
 
He said: “The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can. Maybe if I hadn’t have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100% as well.
 
“The year will be geared around that, but I’m also looking forward to a slightly different programme as well, and obviously after the Tour, the Worlds in Yorkshire will be massive.
 
“I think the time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it. It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment. They’re going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that.”
Thomas on his 2019 plans

Thomas on his 2019 plans

Thomas is currently training in Los Angeles as he did at the start of 2018, before returning to Europe in late January for his first races of the 2019 campaign.
 
“I’m starting the year in LA again - it worked pretty well last year and I enjoyed my time there. I think I’ll start in Valencia, then Tirreno - I love that race, and I’ve had a bit of bad luck the last two years so maybe third time lucky - and I think maybe the Tour de Suisse before the Tour. I’ve been second there before, by five seconds, so I’d love to go back to try and win that.
 
“Then after the Tour the time trial at the Worlds will be a nice target to have. I’m not too sure on how to get there in the best shape, but I’ll be looking at a decent programme up to that as well.”
Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

I’ll take the same attitude as always really: I’ll try to be there in the best shape and whatever happens, happens.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege is also a race Thomas is eyeing on the road to the Tour, after making his debut there in 2018.
 
“I really enjoyed Liege when I rode it for the first time last year so I’d like to go back,” he explained. “I’ll maybe do all three of the Ardennes races - it’s still a bit up in the air. I’d like a slightly different approach to that week, maybe end up doing the Tour of the Basque Country, just mix it up a bit really, and I’m looking forward to doing some big races. I definitely want to go back to Liege and will maybe do Amstel and Flèche as well. We’ll see.
 
“I haven’t had time to study the Tour route in too much detail. I was obviously at the launch and I’ve spoken to Tim [Kerrison] about it. I know the general structure of it but I don’t know it in a massive amount of detail… but it’s always hard! There are always some high mountains and this year altitude will certainly play a factor in it.
 
“I like the look of it and I’m motivated for it. I think I’ll take the same attitude as always really: I’ll try to be there in the best shape and whatever happens, happens.”

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Thomas on the Yorkshire World Championships

Thomas on the Yorkshire World Championships

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