Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas to ride Tour of Britain
Sky's Tour de France winners happy to be heading to September race
Reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and four-time Tour winner Chris Froome will take part in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain this September.
The Team Sky duo will line up at Pembrey Country Park, Wales, on September 2 for the eight-day stage race, which can now expect to draw even larger crowds than usual.
Thomas, who won his first Tour de France in July, posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he'd perhaps over-indulged in celebrating his Tour victory.
"When you realise the damage you've done, in just 2 weeks..." he wrote in the message, which featured a GIF of Simon Cowell with his head in his hands.
However, the 32-year-old Welshman is certain that he'll be ready to race on home soil in early September.
"As soon as I'd finished the Tour I knew I wanted to ride the Tour of Britain and race on home roads. It starts in Wales, which will be special, and then I get to go and race across the whole of the UK. I can't wait," Thomas said.
"I want to go to the race in the shape to compete and enjoy it," he added. "We'll have to see how the next few weeks go, but I'm looking forward to it, and I know we will have a strong team there. Wout [Poels] is looking really good at the moment, too."
While Froome was somewhat overshadowed by Thomas' performance at the Tour de France in July, and was unable to add a fifth Tour title to his palmarès, the 33-year-old will no doubt enjoy enthusiastic support from the home crowd when the racing starts in Wales on September 2.
"It's been a long time since I've raced the Tour of Britain," said Froome, who last rode the event in 2009 with the Barloworld team, finishing 50th overall. "The Vuelta a España has always been such a big goal and sadly coincided with the Tour of Britain, but not doing La Vuelta this year gives me the chance to come back to the UK and race on what looks like a great parcours.
"I'm really looking forward to riding," continued Froome. "I always remember there being a great atmosphere at the Tour of Britain and the race has only got bigger over the years. I'm really looking forward to coming back."
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain starts on September 2 and finishes in London on September 9, and this year features a team time trial on stage 5.
Team Sky have only won their home race once before: in 2013, when Bradley Wiggins got the better of Switzerland's Martin Elmiger, with Simon Yates – now of Mitchelton-Scott, but riding for a Great Britain team at the race – finishing third.
While Froome last rode the race in 2009, which was only his second participation, Thomas has ridden the event on eight occasions, and raced last year for Team Sky, finishing seventh overall.
If you've ever wanted to know what it feels like to be part of a top-level cycling team, and to be on the ground, inside the barriers, at the Tour de France, then RUNNING WITH WOLVES will take you there. It is available to rent for $3.99 USD or buy for $6.99 USD (opens in new tab).
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