Thomas turns his attentions to the Tour de France

Sky rider pulls out of British road championships

Geraint Thomas is now firmly focused on the Tour de France, choosing to skip his national road championships to approach July with tunnel vision.

The Team Sky rider was down to ride the time trial and the road race at the British nationals in Lincolnshire this weekend, but withdrew from both events on Monday evening.

The thinking behind the decision, taken mutually according to Thomas and Sky, is that the events would be excessive given the proximity of the Tour and the rider’s recent exertions at the Tour de Suisse.

“Sadly, the call has been made to not compete at the Nationals this week,” Thomas wrote on his Facebook page. “It was a really difficult decision to make with the team, but it was felt that resting at home this week would be best. After such an intense week at the Tour de Suisse, both mentally and physically.

“I'll miss racing at the Nationals, I love racing them. Winning in 2010, is still one of my proudest moments. To wear the British champs jersey all year was a massive honour. Good luck to the rest of the team sky boys!”

Thomas would have been well suited to both events, but had shown particular interest in the road race, which features part of the Lincoln Grand Prix circuit, with nine trips up Michaelgate – a cobbled climb of 300 metres with a gradient of 12 per cent.

The Tour de Suisse concluded on Sunday with Thomas wrapping up second-place on general classification thanks to the final-stage individual time trial. He rode impressively all week, even making it to the summit finish at the Rettennbach glacier in the company of an elite group that was only bettered by climbing specialist Thibaut Pinot.

The Welshman, who has stage-race and one-day wins to his name this year in the Volta ao Algarve and E3 Harelbeke, will now turn his attentions to Tour de France Grand Départ in Utrecht in just 10 days’ time.

He is almost certain to be included in Sky’s nine-man team based around Chris Froome, not least for his value in a potentially chaotic opening week and in the team time trial on stage 9.

Sky teammates Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, and Andy Fenn are still down for the road race at the British nationals but Cyclingnews understands this has no bearing on the team’s roster for the Tour, which is set to be announced on Monday.

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