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Thomas confirms he will skip Giro d'Italia for Tour de France defence

Joe Robinson
6 Feb 2019

Rider thinks Giro course is 'attractive' but is unwilling to 'jeopardise' Tour title defence

Geraint Thomas has quashed all rumours that he will be on the start line of the Giro d'Italia and confirmed that his season will be built around his Tour de France defence. 

The Team Sky man confirmed to BBC Wales that while the Italian Grand Tour's time-trial heavy route was 'attractive' he would not be on the Bologna startline come May.

It had been suggested that the Welshman would head for the Giro in pursuit of the pink jersey before then providing mountain support at the Tour for teammate Chris Froome, who is aiming at a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey.

Thomas, however, does not want to 'jeopardise' his chances of defending his Tour title by racing the gruelling three-week Italian race just two months before.

'The Giro feels like unfinished business and I wanted to think about that. It's attractive, especially with three time trials, although they are hilly,'said Thomas, 

'Maybe I'll race it next year but this year has always been about the Tour. As defending champion, I feel as if I have to go back and want to be in the best shape possible.'

This will bring an end to the 'will he, won't he' speculation surrounding Thomas and his 2019 Grand Tour schedule. 

Last week, Froome told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the Giro course was 'perfect' for Thomas while team manager Dave Brailsford had publicly stated that the conversation surrounding Thomas's schedule was still up for debate.

Thomas is currently racing the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain – he finished 13th in today's Stage 1 time-trial – as part of an altered race programme from 2018.

After tackling the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico like usual, he will skip the Cobbled Classics in favour of a full Ardennes Classics campaign before then riding the Tour de Suisse as his final Tour warmup.

It has also been suggested by Gazzetta dello Sport that the 32-year-old is considering a debut ride at the Strade Bianche one-day race in March. 

The Italian semi-classic has seen its stock grow rapidly despite being in just its 13th edition, with many riders now considering it the prominent classic outside of the five Monuments, thanks to its use of the white gravel roads of Tuscany.