Geraint Thomas and Julian Alaphilippe have ended any speculation that they would ride the Vuelta a España, with both riders named on a star-studded entry list for the Deutschland Tour, which will be held between August 29-September 1.
The Vuelta a España starts on August 24 and ends on September 15. Tao Geoghegan Hart is expected to lead Team Ineos at the the third Grand Tour of the season.
The four-day stage race will be Thomas' first race since he finished second behind Ineos teammate Egan Bernal at the Tour de France. It will mark the start of the Welshman's final part of the 2019 season, with the time trial at the road race World Championships in Yorkshire expected to be a major goal. The Tour of Britain (September 7-14) could offer Thomas a final block of racing before the World Championships, which run from September 22 to 29.
"I think the Worlds, being in the UK, is still going to be a big target," Thomas told the BBC at the end of the Tour de France.
"For sure, mentally I'm a lot more ready to continue the year than I was this time last year, for obvious reasons.
"I'd love to target the TT. We’ll see what damage I’ll do in these next two weeks [after the Tour de France] and then go from there. But I’d love to go to Yorkshire and represent the country, and help [Ben] Swifty out [in the road race]."
Alaphilippe started the Clásica San Sebastián but has not raced since, preferring to spend time at home after an intense first half of the season and a very intense Tour de France, where he wore the yellow jersey for 14 days before losing it to Bernal on stage 19. He is likely to target the road race in Yorkshire, which suits his aggressive style and fast finish.
The Deutschland Tour is organised by ASO, who have used the leverage of the Tour de France to revive the German race and secure some of the biggest names in the peloton. Also expected to race are Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Dan Martin and Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates), Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal).
German riders will be looking to shine on home roads, with Emanuel Buchmann and Pascal Ackermann leading Bora-Hansgrohe, while Paris-Roubaix runner-up Nils Politt leads Katusha-Alpecin.
15 of the 22 teams on the start list are from the WorldTour, with Gazprom-Rusvelo, Arkéa-Samsic (with André Greipel), Wanty-Groupe Gobert, and the German Continental level teams Bike Aid, P&S Metalltechnik, Dauner-Akkon and Lotto-Kern House completing the peloton.
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