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Thomas confirmed as Team Sky leader for Tour de Suisse

Team Sky has confirmed that Geraint Thomas will lead the British team at the Tour de Suisse, in what is likely to be his final race before the Tour de France.

Also in the nine-rider squad are Christian Knees, Ian Boswell, Leopold Konig, Vasil Kiryienka, Danny van Poppel, David Lopez and Michal Golas.

The Tour de Suisse starts on Saturday June 11 and ends after nine days of testing racing on Sunday June 19. Last year Thomas finished second overall in the Tour de Suisse after a strong ride in the mountains. He was beaten by Simon Spilak (Katusha) in the final time trial after staying close to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) in the overall classification for much of the race. Thomas’ result in Switzerland confirmed his ability in stage races and he went on to have a successful Tour de France. He was fourth overall for much of the race, only cracking and slipping to 15th after helping Chris Froome seal overall victory.

Thomas confirmed he will target Grand Tours by missing most of the spring Classics campaign. He won the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice. 

Thomas recently revealed to Cyclingnews that he has signed a one-year contract with Team Sky for 2017 as he keeps his options open as a future Grand Tour contender. Froome has already signed a contract with Team Sky until 2018, possibly limiting Thomas’s chances of leadership at the Tour de France until 2019.

Thomas has not raced since the Tour de Romandie in late April but has been training at altitude with several teammates who are likely to be part of the Tam Sky squad for the Tour de France. The final line-up is expected to consist of riders from the Tour de Suisse and the on-going Criterium du Dauphine.

Konig is back in action at the Tour de Suisse after a lingering knee injury. He has not raced since the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in early February. Beñat Intxausti is not in the team as he continues to recover from mononucleosis, also known as the Epstein-Barr virus.

The Tour de Suisse starts with a 6.4km time trial in Baar and ends with a mountain stage around Davos. The ski resort will also host Saturday’s 16.8km time trial, while stage 7 to the Rettenbach glacier above Solden in Austria will be the Queen stage of the Swiss national tour.

Major rivals for Thomas include Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), 2015 winner Simon Spilak (Katusha), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), two-time winner Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale). The Swiss stage race also marks the return to European road racing for Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), who will ride his home tour for the last time in his career.

Cyclingnews will have daily live coverage, news, interviews and photo galleries from the Tour de Suisse.

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