Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) will return to racing at next week's Deutschland Tour (August 23-26), lining up alongside Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) as the German national tour returns after a 10-year hiatus sparked by doping scandals in the sport.
Thomas rode a series of post-Tour de France criteriums after riding into Paris in yellow on July 29. He was given a public reception in Cardiff last week but recently began training, with Team Sky confirming that he will ride the Tour of Britain, which starts in Pembrey Country Park, Wales, on September 2.
On Friday local officials announced that the Newport velodrome would be renamed the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales in recognition of Thomas becoming the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.
Thomas is expected to sign a lucrative new contract with Team Sky despite receiving several offers from rival WorldTour teams keen to sign the Tour de France winner.
Last year Thomas won the opening time trial at the Tour de France in Dusseldorf. The Deutschland Tour starts in Koblenz, with subsequent stages to Trier, Merzig and Stuttgart that are suited to sprint finishes and rouleurs. He is expected to be backed by German domestique Christian Knees, Wout Poels, Philipe Deignan, Kenny Elissonde, David Lopez and Pavel Sivakov.
"I’ve won Bayern-Rundfahrt twice and I really enjoy racing in Germany. It’s a lovely country and I really enjoy going there. It will be great to race the Deutschland Tour. I went to see my coach Tim Kerrison after the Tour and we outlined the Deutschland Tour as a great race to make my comeback. I’m looking forward to it,"Thomas said when race organisers ASO confirmed Thomas’ presence.
11 WorldTour teams will ride the Deutschland Tour, including Team Sunweb, Bora-Hansgrohe, BMC Racing, Lotto Soudal, Katusha-Alpecin, Bahrain-Merida and Dimension Data.
Many of the riders in action at this week’s BinckBank Tour and Sunday’s EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg will head to the Deutschland Tour.
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