Geraint Thomas to return to France to train for Tour – BBC News

Geraint Thomas’ team have won the Tour de France for the past five years

Britain’s Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas will travel to France on Monday to increase his training for this year’s event.

Welshman Thomas, 33, was champion in 2018 and then runner-up to team-mate Egan Bernal last year for Team Ineos.

The Tour had been scheduled to run from 27 June to 19 July originally, but it will now start on 29 August and end on 20 September because of coronavirus.

“We’re all geared up for hopefully the Tour happening,” said Thomas.

“We’ve got a start date now and that gives us something to work towards. I’m going to head back out to France on Monday.”

Thomas added during a live Facebook chat: “We’ll be back out there, can train on the roads there – at the moment anyway that’s what the French Government are saying – so looking forward to it.”

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, announced a revised schedule of races on Tuesday, with the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana overlapping during October.

Asked what he thought of the changes, Thomas said: “It’s great if it can happen. Obviously it’s extremely condensed and there’s a lot of races.

“Maybe the only negative is the fact the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana and Paris-Roubaix are overlapping, which isn’t ideal.

“If we can get all those races in that would be phenomenal – but maybe it’s wishful thinking.”

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Thomas has been training in his garage at his home in Cardiff, where last month he completed three 12-hour static bike rides, raising more than £350,000 for the NHS.

Despite that challenge, Thomas says staying in shape has proved difficult and he is having to concentrate on maintaining fitness rather than improving it.

“You can get into boredom eating. It’s quite easy to put on a bit of weight especially when you’re not training as hard as you normally would, so that’s the biggest challenge,” he said.

“At the start of lockdown, my wife got a bit keen and bought quite a few naughty treats – hot cross buns, little cakes, little chocolate bars – and I found myself getting stuck into them quite a bit, so that’s been banned from the house now.

“Once I go back out there [to France], it will be full-on knuckling down again.”

Though he is a former champion, Thomas could play a supporting role to his Ineos team-mates Bernal, of Colombia, and Britain’s four-time winner Chris Froome, who missed last year’s Tour because of injury.

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