In the build up to the race Thomas was earmarked as Team Sky's plan B with the defending champion, Chris Froome, expected to lead. Thomas won Paris-Nice in the spring but was unable to back up that result at the Tour of Romandie or the Tour de Suisse, where he eventually finished 17th overall.
"Suisse wasn't great and it certainly knocked my confidence but looking back I could see the mistakes that I made with losing too much weight, too quickly, while doing a load of training," he told Cyclingnews.
"That just took me a while to regroup mentally as well as physically. Going into the Tour I wasn't sure how I was going to ride. My weight had been up and down and it wasn't what I was used to. When I've gone to the Tour before I've been confident but this year it was totally different. I just pushed it too far with the weight loss, losing the last bit too quickly. There was more travelling and I was training hard. It caught up with me, and then at Suisse, well I'm Welsh so I'm used to the rain, but it was tough after seven days of that. I was drained and it really knocked my confidence, especially after being second in that race the year before. I was too eager and just pushed it too much."
The knock he took at Suisse saw Thomas revert back into a domestique role for Froome and he used the opening week to find his legs and most importantly, his confidence. He eventually went on to finish 15th overall – the same position he attained in 2015.
Thomas has already told Cyclingnews that he may change his race programme for 2017, with the Giro d'Italia a possibility. What is certain is that he will start his programme in Australia once more.
"I'll start in Down Under and head there on January 2. I'll get in a good month block and set myself up for the year. I feel like that really works for me."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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