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Geraint Thomas confirms race schedule ahead of Tour de France

Joe Robinson
16 Jul 2020

The Welshman will race only eight days before the Grand Depart in Nice

Geraint Thomas has confirmed his race schedule as he prepares to race the Tour de France as part of a leadership trio for Team Ineos.

The Welshman spoke to Welsh broadcaster S4C ahead of his return to racing telling that he will only have eight race days prior to the Tour's Grand Depart in Nice on 29th August.

Thomas will resume his season at the Tour de l'Ain before heading to the Criterium du Dauphiné, a race he won in 2018.

'The team start racing on 1st August, but for me, there's a three-day stage race in France, which one of the stages is the same as the Tour, so I'll start there,' he told S4C.

'Then I'll have two days off and then we'll do the Dauphiné, which is the traditional last race before the Tour anyway. That's shortened, it's normally eight days but now it's five. I'll do a couple of recons after that, and then there will only be a week and then we'll go to the Tour.'

Thomas last raced at the Volta ao Algarve which finished on 23rd February, where he came in 21st overall. 

As a precursor to actual racing, Thomas will also participate in the 'Virtual Tour de France' on Zwift, a platform he is familiar with after riding three consecutive 12 hour shifts on the virtual training app to raise £375,528 for NHS charities.

The 34-year-old said that while Zwift is not the same as racing, it has been a great tool to use during lockdown and that the ongoing virtual races draw out the competitive side of most.

'It's not the real thing, but it is very realistic. The Zwift races have definitely helped me get more out of myself because you're racing against your teammates online. Even if you're not that up for it to start with, as soon as you get going, that competitiveness comes out anyway and you all end up racing hard, so they're definitely a good workout,' explained Thomas.

'I'll probably be a bit like "ah whatever, we'll see how it goes", but as soon as you get going, you do some stupid attacks. But we'll just have a bit of fun with it, it's definitely a good alternative to rolling around on your own.'

Having had to pause racing for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the time away has helped Thomas put into perspective the importance of enjoying racing, especially as he is coming to the tail end of his career.

'I'm getting on a bit now, I've got maybe three, four, five years left so I just want to make the most of those years and race my bike and enjoy it. It was tough going but there's a lot of people who are in worse off positions than us.'

Thomas and Team Ineos head honcho Sir David Brailsford were both recently interviewed for S4C’s coverage of the Team Ineos eRace and Ineos eRace classic, to be shown at 21:00 this Friday and the following Friday respectively – it's in Welsh, but English subtitles are available for those unfamiliar with the Welsh language.