Geraint Thomas has confirmed his schedule for returning to competitive racing after the coronavirus lockdown.
Winner of the 2018 Tour de France had only five days of racing under his belt before competition was suspended in March but says he still has his sights set on making this year's Tour.
The 34-year-old spent three months of the lockdown in his native Cardiff, but as the sport slowly returns to life following the shutdown he has been preparing to make his return to the road next month.
Geraint Thomas on lockdown life and why the Tour will be more exciting than ever
He will be competing in a three-day stage race in France, likely La Route d’Occitanie from August 1, alongside Egan Bernal before heading to the shortened five-stage Critérium du Dauphiné from August 12. He will also race in two rounds of Team Ineos e-racing on Zwift.
In an interview with S4C, Thomas said: “Missing the racing part was disappointing but there was a lot bigger things going on, so you can understand why.
Everyone’s way of life’s drastically changed, but luckily for us, I went back to Cardiff for 50-odd days in the end, and I was still able to go out on the road and train, and spend a bit of time with the family, which I never normally would. And especially having a young boy at home, Macsen, that was a nice positive from it.
He added: “I’m getting on a bit now, I’ve got maybe three, four, five years left so I just want to make the most of those years and race my bike and enjoy it. It was tough going but there’s a lot of people who are in worse off positions than us.”
On virtual racing, Thomas said:”It’s not the real thing, but it is very realistic. The Zwift races has definitely helped me get more out of myself, because you’re racing against your team mates online. Even if you’re not that up for it to start with, as soon as you get going, that competitiveness comes out anyway and you all end up racing hard, so they’re definitely a good workout.”