Geraint Thomas to skip Giro d'Italia in favour of Tour de France title defence

'Maybe I'll race it next year' says Team Sky leader

Geraint Thomas will focus totally on the Tour de France this year, skipping the Giro d'Italia. The Team Sky rider said that he will concentrate on defending his title in the Tour, with a further eye on the World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I did not want to jeopardise the chances of the Tour for anything this year,” he told the BBC. "As defending champion I feel as if I have to go back and want to be in the best shape possible."

Teammate and multiple Grand Tour winner Chris Froome, who is also looking to re-claim his crown in the Tour this year, recently suggested that Thomas should ride the Giro. "Geraint has a score to settle after the incident that cost him the maglia rosa two years ago. And the route is perfect for him," Froome told Il Corriere della Serra. 

Two weeks ago, Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford admitted a final decision had not yet been taken, but Thomas quashed the Giro speculation as he lined up for the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana on Wednesday.

"The Giro feels like unfinished business and I wanted to think about that," said Thomas. "Maybe I'll race it next year but this year has always been about the Tour."

Thomas has opened his season in Valencia this week, but finished only 13th on the opening 10.2 km time trial, 20 seconds behind winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).

The Welshman was not overly concerned about the future of Team Sky, with Sky ending its sponsorship at the end of this season.

"We just have to concentrate on riding our bikes but we have every faith we should be able to find another sponsor," he said. "We want the team to stay together and I have been here since the start in 2010. It feels like family and we want to stick together."

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